In fourteenth-century Devon, runaway villeins were brutally punished if apprehended by their masters. But when Peter Bruther flees the home of Sir William Beauscyr, he puts himself in the protection of the king by setting up as a tin miner on the moors. And the bailiff of Lydford, Simon Puttock, has to inform an irate Sir William that he has no legal claim on his wayward servant. When Bruther's body is found hanging from a tree, Simon, assisted by the former Knight Templar Sir Baldwin Furnshill, finds himself investigating cold-blooded murder. And there's no shortage of suspects, from Sir William himself, to his feuding sons, to Thomas Smyth, a wealthy tinner who runs a ruthlessly enforced protection racket funded by landowners. The pressure is on Simon and Baldwin to unravel the truth before further violence ensues.
Michael Jecks gave up a career in the computer industry to concentrate on writing and the study of medieval history, especially that of Devon and Cornwall. He lives with his family in northern Dartmoor.