I hereby record those events which took place in and around the city of Lazet relating to the assassination of our venerable Brother Augustin Duese in the year of the Incarnate Word, 1318.
So writes Brother Bernard, an Inquisitor of Heretical Depravity, following the discovery of his superior's dismembered corpse. At a time when heresy is a heinous offence, routed out with ruthless determination, Brother Bernard is accustomed to dispensing harsh justice. But as he attempts to make sense of this shocking crime, he himself becomes an object of persecution-thanks to his passionate involvement with a mysterious suspect and her beautiful daughter.
Pursued as a heretic, implicated as a murderer, Bernard must now face his accusers. To fail such a task, in fourteenth century France, means certain death.
In the tradition of The Name of the Rose, Catherine Jinks has crafted a magnificent tale of murder, forbidden lust and betrayal.
It takes an accomplished writer with a thorough background in medieval history to not only bring a forgotten era to life but also to create an Inquisitor of Heretical Depravity who is a sympathetic protagonist. This well-crafted tale of ecclesiastical murder and betrayal in 14th-century France is narrated by Brother Bernard, the aforementioned Inquisitor, whose superior in the Holy Office is murdered, along with his bodyguards, while returning from a visit to a household of women suspected of heresy. Brother Bernard's investigation of Father Augustin's murder leads him to discover the secret the friar may have been killed to protect, and sets him up to be denounced as a heretic himself and implicated in Augustin's death. Caught between his unknown enemies and his own unholy passion, Brother Bernard must unmask the real killer and reveal the motive for his crime in order to save himself and the woman he has come to love. This fascinating mystery is sure to appeal to readers who've been waiting for a worthy successor to The Name of the Rose. --Jane Adams