A devilish miasma of murder and heresy lurks in the winter streets of medieval London - someone is slaying women of the night. For Seb Foxley and his brother, Jude, evil and the threat of death come close to home when Gabriel, their well-liked journeyman is arrested as a heretic and condemned to be burned at the stake.

Amid a tangle of betrayal and deception, Seb tries to uncover the murderer before more women die – will he also defy the church and devise a plan to save Gabriel?

These are dangerous times for the young artist and those he holds dear. Treachery is everywhere, even at his own fireside….


Chapter 1

He gazed at his handiwork and sighed. How sad. She’d been a beauty – once – but not now. He had enjoyed her company. On many a chilled night she’d warmed his bed and soothed his loneliness but, like all women she had her faults, in particular the inability to keep silent. That problem was solved for ever now he thought, wiping his soiled hands and the blade of his Irish knife on her linen shift, before concealing the weapon once more within his robes. He arranged her neatly, curled like a sleeping child, tidied her garments to preserve her modesty – not that she had bothered over much with such matters in life – nevertheless, she would be decent in death. No final confession for the likes of her, no last rites. Too bad. It was a task well done: at least one whore could lead the sons of Adam astray no more.

The pale, insipid moonlight cast the half-hearted shadow of the thorn hedge across the remains. Shaking his head, he left that unhallowed place. There was not a moment to lose; the solitary bell of St Michael’s was already summoning the parishioners to the last service of the day, clanging like a cheap metal platter rapped with a spoon.