Children of Fire is set in 1841, at the height of the industrial revolution in the North West England. The story is told through the eyes of Josiah Ainscough, who returns from travels on the continent, and he surprises everyone by joining the Stockport Police Force, rather than following his adopted father's footsteps into the Methodist Ministry. While Josiah was abroad, five men died in an explosion at the Furness Vale Powder Mill. Was this an accident, or did the Children of Fire, a local religious community, have a hand in it? As a policeman Josiah must uncover the truths behind the Children of Fire, and Josiah is forced to solve the puzzle of the violence loose in the Furness Vale, before more people die. Josiah is torn between his affections for Rachael, a leading member of the Children of Fire, and the vivacious Aideen Hayes, a visitor from Ireland. With more crimes unfolding rapidly, Josiah struggles to prevent a large illicit shipment of military grade gunpowder from getting to Ireland for use in terrorist attacks, and it becomes clear that he is out of his depth.