Ralph Delchard, a soldier who fought at the Battle of Hastings, and Gervase Bret, a talented lawyer, have been commissioned by William the Conqueror to look into irregularities brought to light during the compilation of the Domesday Book, the great survey of England. Their investigations take them throughout the kingdom, but the pair often find themselves embroiled in more sinister mysteries in the towns they visit. The King’s work is a dangerous business.
When a young girl is found in a holly patch, dead from a snakebite, her premature death shocks the entire town of Canterbury on the day that Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret arrive about the king’s business. But when astonishing truths come to light, the pair must look for a force more vicious than a mere reptile.