When the battered body of bachelor fisherman Denis Kerkin is found hanging by one leg from an ancient stone gibbet in horrible conformity with a two-hundred-year-old legend, the blunt cockney Detective Chief Superintendent Staunton and the talented and amorous Detective Inspector Wyndsor of New Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad are sent to the isolated fishing village of Crukenporth in Cornwall to investigate.
Here they encounter Miss Trevose, a cripple who never leaves the room specially adapted for her requirements. It is a self-constructed cage for this woman who is old, vindictive and dying. Yet her brain is still active, confined in a maimed body, as she is confined within the room, and she controls with feudal arrogance the lives of most of the inhabitants of the village. Denied personal involvement she experiences vicariously the emotions of the people she manipulates, nurses her hatreds, and plays her own specialized game with life and death.
As the officers delve into the bizarre circumstances of the death and Miss Trevose plots to use the police enquiry to exact personal vengeance, it becomes clear that more than one person had good reason to wish Denis Kerkin dead.
Read how Bob Staunton and Leo Wyndsor, in their own distinctive way, strive to sort the truth from the lies before the passions, the hatreds and the greed they unearth explode into further violence, in this gripping novel of suspense and intrigue.