In this chilling historical mystery, young girls go missing from a medieval English village, and Lord Oswald de Lacy must find the killer before tragedy strikes again.
Oswald de Lacy was never meant to be the lord of Somershill Manor. Dispatched to a monastery at the age of seven, sent back at 17 when his father and two older brothers were killed by the plague, Oswald has no experience of running an estate. He finds years of pestilence and neglect have changed the old place dramatically, not to mention the attitude of the surviving peasants.
Yet some things never change. Oswald's mother remains the powerful matriarch of the family, and his sister, Clemence, simmers in the background, dangerous and unmarried.
Before he can do anything, Oswald is confronted by the shocking death of a young woman, Alison Starvecrow. The ambitious village priest claims that Alison was killed by a band of demonic, dog-headed men. Oswald is certain this is nonsense, but proving it--by finding the real murderer--is quite a different matter. Every step he takes seems to lead Oswald deeper into a dark maze of political intrigue, family secrets, and violent strife.
And then the body of another girl is found.
Sarah Sykes brilliantly evokes the landscape and people of medieval Kent in this thrillingly suspenseful debut.
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Best book since Mistress of the Art of Death!
This masterpiece is full of plot twists and surprises. You can not outguess it. You don't want to turn it off. One of those novels that is so good that, as a reader/listener, you experience a grieving period when it 's all over. It is the best novel I've experienced since Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death. The narrator's presentation is great, with dialects and voices as varied as the story requires.
Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death, as far as complexity, plot twists, unforgettable characters.
Good from beginning to end.
I hope to see more by this author!
- Maria Doering
More Coming of Age & Less Mystery