Cambridge is terrified by a series of inexplicable killings in 1094.
The healer Lassair, returned from her East Anglian village to Cambridge to continue her studies with the wizard Gurdyman and delve deeper into the connection she feels with the lawman Jack Chevestrier, is called to the scene of the death of a man whose throat has been ripped out so violently it would appear to be the work of an enormous wild animal. Jack is investigating what will turn out to be a series of similar murders marked by the discovery of first a rat, then a cat, and finally a dog, as if the killer were perfecting his method. As the killings continue, the panicking locals are commanded to stay indoors by the corrupt sheriff, who orders Jack not to investigate further, an order he and Lassair ignore at their peril. Seeking a connection among the murder victims, they learn that each may have possessed a rare item the killer could have been seeking. Convinced he’s no mortal man, the townsfolk call the killer the Night Wanderer. Lassair, who has otherworldly abilities she’s slowly been developing, sees flashes of clues in the uncanny black stone she has inherited from her grandfather. Working with Jack only intensifies her love for him despite her affection for her lover, Rollo, a Norman who spies for the king and has been overseas for more than a year. As the pair delve deeper into the horrific deaths, they set themselves up for a visit from the Night Wanderer.
Once more, Clare (Blood of the South, 2015, etc.) deftly combines a vexing mystery with paranormal activity and earthly romance.