English period adventure, exciting and well-paced, in line with its predecessors, Web of Traitors and Cue for Treason. But this time Mr. Trease has used the background of England and the Industrial Revolution, which introduces new elements, as he pinpoints the rise to fortune of penniless, orphaned Dick Arlington and his discovery of the plot against England's first silk mill. Following boarding school, Dick finds employment with an Irish doctor who turns out to be a quack. Shocked when he learns this, Dick is then taken on by a newspaperman involved in the expose, and as a printer's boy, he meets Mr. Mount, a financier interested in starting a silk mill. Mr. Mount's projects are blocked by some Italians from whom he had learned the silk-throwing secret, but a showdown in the country brings them to justice and his plans come through to fruition. Social history in readable incident.