West Point, 1830. In the early hours of a gray winter morning, a cadet is found dead. But after his body arrives at the morgue and it is discovered that his heart has been removed by an expert hand, this tragedy turns out to be the result of a cruel deed. Fearing irreparable damage to the new military academy’s reputation, its leaders turn to a local detective named Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) to solve the case. Confused by the cadets’ code of silence, Landor seeks the help of one of them, an eccentric young man named Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling), who despises military rigors and is inclined towards poetry. Based on a novel by Louis Bayard.