C12th Devon. Much of the country lies under the iron rule of the Royal Forest laws, with all hunting reserved to the King. The penalty for killing a deer on the King's land is mutilation or death. These harsh laws are rigorously upheld by the King's foresters, notorious for their greed and corruption. June 1195. A tall, brown mare gallops into the sleepy village of Sigford, its rider dragged by the stirrup, the broken shaft of an arrow protruding from his back. The embroidered badge on the dead man's tunic identifies him as a senior officer of the Royal Forest. But, with plenty of money still in the victim's purse, the motive is a mystery. When a second forest officer is violently attacked, Sir John de Wolfe begins to uncover evidence of a sinister conspiracy. And why is his unscrupulous brother-in-law, the sheriff Sir Richard de Revelle, taking such an interest in the case?
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.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (November 18, 2003)
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