Bailiff Simon Puttoc’s servant, Hugh, has been granted leave to look after his wife, Constance, and her son. But their happy time is to be short- lived, for a gang of men break into their home and attack Hugh’s family. When Simon and Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King’s Peace, arrive on the scene the cottage is burnt to the ground, the bodies from within already buried. It seems that Hugh must have perished in a dreadful accident – but appearances can be deceptive. When Simon and Baldwin begin investigating, it becomes clear that evil lurks in this land, and the pain and bloodshed are far from over . . .