Bailiff Simon Puttock’s servant, Hugh, has been granted leave to look after his wife, Constance, and to help raise their child. But soon after, she is attacked in their home, raped by a gang of men. Then she watches as her son is murdered and Hugh is struck down, before she too is killed and the house set afire. When Simon and Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King’s Peace, arrive at the grisly scene, the cottage is burned to the ground, the body of the child lying outside. Inside is a woman’s torso, badly charred. There are no remains of Hugh, but the fire raged so fiercely that all believe he has perished. But nothing is so simple. Simon vows revenge, and there are dark forces lurking that will cause no end of mayhem and bloodshed.