Nick Ashley-Cooper is a man with a mission – a man determined his family’s ancient and distinguished aristocratic title will fall no further from grace.

His father Anthony, the 10th Earl of Shaftesbury, squandered much of the family’s fortune, and let its 17th Century 5,000-acre estate lapse into disrepair. So when he fled to the French Riviera and, in 2002, he married a gold-digging prostitute, second son Nick despaired of ever restoring the proud Shaftesbury reputation.

And when, in a desperate bid to get her hands on a multimillion-pound portfolio of fine art and property, the former call-girl and her psychopathic brother murdered the Earl, Nick’s only consolation came when she was convicted and jailed for 20 years.