Oswald de Lacy, Lord of Somershill, sits at his mother's deathbed.
Before she dies, he must make a confession. He needs to tell of the days when he was eighteen years old, the third, disregarded son of the family, sent off to become a monk, working in the infirmary while plague raged outside the monastery. Of how he was sent to a nearby village and witnessed the death of a local girl, and how he swore to investigate... and how he was drawn into a crime so dark and terrifying, it haunts him - and his family - still.
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