A bizarre murder shakes the Cornish village of Moresk. Arriving at church on Easter morning the vicar discovers the body of a woman sprawled across the chancel steps. Has the church been desecrated by a Satanist ritual? Chief Superintendent Wycliffe sees the crime more as an expression of hatred directed at others in the community, besides the dead woman. His investigation, however, is frustrated at every turn, and when another horrific murder is committed Wycliffe thinks he knows who the killer is. But can he prove it?