It is the year of our Lord, 1666. A beggar woman is burned at the stake as a witch. While awaiting execution, the condemned woman informs on thirteen others, and Northern Europe's most infamous witch hunt begins. Nils Psilander, a learned circuit court judge, begins a chain of interrogations, separating the guilty from the innocent, pronouncing sentences. Although he is a progressive man, the Judge is trapped in the prevailing ideas of his time, and innocent women pay the price with their lives. Based on actual court records, this compelling novel retells the story of the infamous witch trials of 17th century Southern Finland. Leena Lander, through her skillful blending of historical research and imaginative characterization, has created a novel with a fascinating and haunting voice. Lander untangles the skein of deceit and treachery, of political intrigue and human indifference which permitted the tragic deaths of seven innocent women.