Arriving home from a pilgrim voyage, Sister Fidelma hears that her faithful Saxon companion, Brother Eadulf, is under sentence of death for murder. She hastens to the capital of Laigin, where he is being held, determined to appeal against the sentence. The crime took place at the abbey of Fearna where Fidelma clashes with the sinister Abbess Fainder. The evidence against Eadulf seems overwhelming - can he actually be guilty? Will Fidelma's emotional involvement blind her in her desperate search for the truth?