The village of Underhowle appeared to be on the brink of a new prosperity after half a century of decay...but now, instead, it seems destined for notoriety as the home of a psychotic serial killer of women. DI Francis Bliss of Hereford CID is convinced he knows where the bodies are buried, but diocesan Deliverance Consultant Merrily Watkins - called in to conduct a controversial funeral - wonders if Bliss isn't blinkered by personal ambition.

And are the Underhowle deaths really linked to the most sickening mass murders in British criminal history? The fifth Merrily Watkins mystery takes our endearingly fallible heroine from the wilder shores of millennial spirituality to the darkest hinterland of human depravity.