Philadelphia, 1791. James and Maria Reynolds are flat broke. James, well aware of the strong attraction between his wife and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, hatches a plan to blackmail Alexander and get rich. James sends Maria to seduce Alexander and extort hush money from him. Alexander, married with five children, soon begins an affair with the beautiful 23-year-old Maria. They indulge their passion either in Marias boarding house or in Alexanders home when his family is away. Not only do the forbidden trysts titillate the tabloid readers of the time, but news soon breaks that Alexander is paying Marias husband James hush money. James, a con artist, lives by his wits and scams. When he begins extorting hundreds of dollars from Alexander under threat of ruining his reputation as Treasury Secretary, Alexander has no choice but to continue paying James while carrying on with Maria. Their relationship grows in its passion and intensity as it spirals towards potential political disaster for Alexander.
The Reynolds Affair, the countrys first sex scandal, would last for two years.
Meanwhile, behind the romantic and political machinations, a vicious serial killer is stalking the city by night. Having arrived in the New World from London via Paris, Dr. Severus Black, specialist in womens medicine, soon befriends the Hamiltons and becomes a close confidant of Alexanders wife, Eliza. Mrs. Hamilton grows very fond of the handsome, debonair young doctor, who in turn develops a growing affinity for his patient. Yet she senses something different about the English doctor.
As Hamiltons affair with Maria runs headlong towards personal and professional catastrophe, and Mrs. Hamilton grows closer to her doctor of womens medicine the constables of Philadelphia begin to draw a net around the killer of young serving girls to the rich and famous. What connection, if any, could Dr. Black have with these murders which a hundred years later would be mirrored in his own country in a series of murders attributed to Jack the Ripper?