1376 – England
Edmund Harkins has gone missing.
Few in Bampton liked him, knowing him to be a wife-beater and distinctly unsavoury character, so when some hungry pigs unearth his corpse from a shallow grave, there is hardly an outpouring of grief.
As bailiff, it is Hugh de Singleton’s duty to bring Edmund’s killer to justice. But where is he to start investigating when almost everyone in the village has a motive? And when everyone is pleased to see the scoundrel dead, who knows how far they might go to help someone get away with murder?
To further complicate Hugh’s life, the Bishop of Exeter has appointed his nephew as Bampton’s new vicar. But as well as an obsession with discovering any heretical views Hugh might hold, he could not be more unpriestly – he not only acts appallingly with Lady Katherine’s maid, but is contributing to the unhealthy atmosphere of suppression and suspicion that has come to pervade the village . . .