There had always been Olivers living in Dalethorpe. In fact, the village had been founded nearly twelve hundred years ago by the family's Viking ancestor, Karl Olafsen, and his Hebrew slave-girl wife, Rachel. For much of the last two hundred years most of the residents of the village owed their livelihoods to the Oliver family, who were both the local squires and mill-owners. However, once they had established their other family home in the leafy London suburb of Hampstead, their influence was felt well beyond the boundaries of the small East-Lancashire village. The family was simultaneously privileged and popular, but nothing could protect them from the tragedy, family feud and romantic, political and business machinations that all but overwhelmed them. All the elements are present for a remarkable family saga as Lionel's story strides through many of the defining events from the 19th and 20th centuries and onwards to the present day, culminating in the recent expenses scandal at the Palace of Westminster. Alongside all this runs the thread of the tantalising mystery of the sacred Viking Burial Mound at the end of their large garden and how its secrets would be drip-fed into the lives of this extraordinary family.