Bestselling British novelist John Gardner published two books purporting to be the true history of Professor James Moriarty, archenemy of Sherlock Holmes, the Napoleon of crime. The books - The Return of Moriarty and The Revenge of Moriarty - were praised as stand-alone volumes set in a vividly accurate Victorian London and a stunning vision of the underworld of the time, inhabited by the kind of men and women who lived and preyed on the society of the late 19th century. Now it is the turn of the century and Moriarty has been away from London for several years, realizing his plans to set up crime syndicates in major U. S. cities. He is suddenly called back to London where his vast criminal society has been overrun by a rival concern led by the shadowy Sir Jordan 'Mad Jack' de Levant - a supposed gentleman hoodlum who is acting on behalf of the leaders of well-known criminal elements in France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Moriarty lives again and revolts against the upstart criminals who have attempted to oust him from his rightful place as king of all criminal endeavour.