Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf go to Ard Fhearta to examine the mystery. But the abbey stands in the territory of the Uí Fidgente, enemies of Fidelma and her brother, the King of Cashel, and danger threatens Fidelma and Eadulf from the moment of their arrival.
What is the link that connects the crimes? Who is the mysterious `master of souls' spreading death and corruption across the land? Has Uaman the Leper, Lord of the Passes, returned from the dead?
Dispatched to investigate, Fidelma and her companion Eadulf discover that the man facing punishment is Gormán—commander of the King’s bodyguard. But Fidelma cannot believe Gormán would carry out such an act—and yet he was found locked in a chamber with the body, weapon in hand. The evidence is stacked against him.
If they are to exonerate Gormán and keep the peace between the kingdoms, Fidelma and Eadulf must find the true culprit. As the threat of war looms, the date of execution drawers ever closer...
As Fidelma and Eadulf soon learn, however, murder isn't the only danger which faces those in the abbey. The ghost of a young woman haunts the cloister shadows, a ghost which closely resembles the Abbot's dead wife. Now it will require all of Fidelma's skill as an advocate of the Brehon Courts to unravel the mystery and uncover the truth behind these events before those secrets take yet another life.