Matthew Atherton, son of the late Bishop of Ely and a 19th-century academic of prodigious knowledge and reputation, has a problem for antiquarian Richard Asquith, a Cambridge professor: Can Richard can help his brother Edward, rector of the church at nearby Thornham St Stephen, who has been plagued by strange noises and frightening visions ever since he began to restore the church’s ancient tomb of William de Lindesey? Richard is sympathetic but not much help. He’s more concerned with the living than the dead—especially when the living come to include Simone, widowed daughter of his old friend René and mother to young Bertrand, whom he courts and marries. Returning to England with his new family, Richard finds both Edward Atherton and his mother dead and buried at Thornham St Stephen, leaving those around them haunted by dark shadows. And now Richard’s own house is full of frightening sounds and visions. The plague is everywhere, and Matthew Atherton has disappeared. When Simone and Bertrand fall deathly ill, Richard resolves to seek out the source of evil in the de Lindesey tomb and, at great risk succeeds.
Aycliffe (a.k.a. Daniel Easterman) knows how to persuade his readers to suspend common sense and enjoy another of his gracefully written fantasies (The Lost, 1996, etc.).