In 1895, a young immigrant from Southern Italy is accused of murdering the man who drugged and raped her. In a sensational trial filled with inept lawyers, dishonest reporters and editors, and a corrupt judge, the illiterate seamstress, Maria Barbella, becomes the first woman sentenced to the newly invented electric chair at Sing Sing. Enter Cora Slocomb di Brazzà – an American heiress and social activist, married to an Italian aristocrat. After reading about the case in The New York Times, Cora sails from Italy to come to Maria’s rescue, and launches the first national campaign against the death penalty. Rallying the New York press, she bridges the social divide, and Maria’s “crime of honor” quickly seizes the nation’s attention. Yet, the powerful inventor Thomas Edison aligns his forces against Cora and the young immigrant. As the electric chair can only be powered with the AC current of his rival Westinghouse, the future of Edison’s DC direct current in America will benefit from Maria’s execution. This dramatic page-turner grapples with ethnic prejudice, criminal justice, corporate greed, violence against women, and a woman’s right to reject the role of victim.