A riveting historical murder-mystery by the bestselling author of The Quincunx.
There are three separate tales interwoven in this novel-three tales that could be called ghost stories, for their mysteries can never be resolved, the victims and the perpetrators never laid to rest.
Dr. Courtine, an unworldly academic, is invited to spend the days before Christmas with an old friend. Twenty years have passed since Courtine and Austin last met, and the invitation to Austin's home in the cathedral close of Thurchester is a welcome one. When Courtine arrives, Austin tells him a tale of deadly rivalry and murder two centuries old. The mystery captures Courtine's donnish imagination, as it is intended to do.
Courtine also plans to pursue his research into another unresolved and older mystery in the labyrinthine cathedral library. If he can track down an elusive eleventh-century manuscript, he hopes to dispose of a deadly rival of his own. Doubly distracted, Courtine becomes unwittingly enmeshed in the sequence of terrible events that follows his arrival, and he becomes witness to a murder that seems never to have been committed.