April, 1145. Thorgar the Ploughman is found by the bloodied body of Father Edmund, a village priest in Ripple, and is summarily hanged for being caught at the scene of the crime, despite his pleas of innocence. When his sister goes to Worcester to seek justice for Thorgar, the lord Sheriff sends Hugh Bradecote, with Serjeant Catchpoll and Underserjeant Walkelin, to discover the truth.
They soon expose strong motives for placing the blame on the ploughman’s shoulders, some unpleasant secrets festering among the villagers, and the whisper of a treasure long lost and now rediscovered. The noose casts a long shadow, but the Sheriff’s men will need to plumb the darkness to uncover the true killer.