Major "Hawk" Hawkinvale has reluctantly returned home after ten years of war. He longs for his ancient Sussex home, but his despised father is still alive there. Upon his return, however, he finds matters are even worse. To pursue a family title, Squire Hawkinville has mortgaged Hawkinville Manor to a wealthy industrialist who will soon own it, tear it down, and built a modern villa in its place.
There is one way out. The title his father has won at such cost is Viscount Deveril, and foul "Lord Devil" had died possessed of a fortune. It will go to pay the squire's debts if Hawk can prove that the inheritor, a trollop who had been prepared to marry Deveril, had played a part in his violent death. His investigations reveal a very complex picture, however, threatening to hurt some of the people he most cares for in the world. And soon one of them is Clarissa Greystone, the Devil's Heiress.