With the city of Exeter ravaged by an outbreak of the 'yellow plague', Sir John de Wolfe, the county coroner, must divide his time between visiting his brother Willam who has been struck down by the disease, and dealing with a series of brutal murders which appears to be linked to a revival of heresy in the city. When some of the cathedral canons begin a crusade against this danger to the Church, Sir John is accused of being too sympathetic to the heretics, bringing him into conflict with the ecclesiastical authorities. As the situation worsens, the coroner finds himself having to seek sanctuary in order to save his skin. Can he survive long enough to unmask the real killer?
Professor Bernard Knight, CBE, became a Home Office Pathologist in 1965 and was appointed Professor of Forensic Pathology, University of Wales College of Medicine, in 1980. During his 40-year career with the Home Office, he performed over 25,000 autopsies, and was involved in many high profile cases, including that of Fred and Rose West, and the child killer, Mary Bell. The author of numerous popular and academic non-fiction books, he has written thirteen novels in the Crowner John mystery series. Professor Knight lives in Cardiff.