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.
When the Abbess Etain, a leading speaker for the Celtic church, is found murdered, suspicion falls upon the Roman faction. In order to diffuse the tensions that threaten to erupt into civil war, Oswy turns to Sister Fidelma of the Celtic Church (Irish and an advocate for the Brehon Court) and Brother Eadulf of the Roman church (from east Anglia and of a family of hereditary magistrates) to find the killer. But as further murders occur and a treasonous plot against Oswy matures, Fidelma and Eadulf soon find themselves running out of time.
In 664 A.D., just after the events detailed in Shroud for the Archbishop, Fidelma of Cashel takes a unexpected detour on her trip home from Rome. While in the port at Genua (modern day Genoa), Fidelma—sister of one Ireland's kings and an advocate in her country's law courts—receives word that one of her old teachers, Brother Ruadan, is reaching the end of his days. Determined to see her old mentor one last time, Fidelma takes the treacherous journey to a remote abbey in the countryside—a place where the old pagan religion still has a hold and where even the Christians are often in bloody conflict with each other. But after she hears her dying teacher's last words, Fidelma's most dangerous adventure has just begun. With one murder after the next and a vicious war in the offing, it is up to Fidelma, alone and on her own, to unravel an extraordinary conspiracy before it is too late.
Faced with a tense local situation, Fidelma must discover first the identity of the body in the well and uncover who was responsible, then find out what happened to the missing crew of the adrift merchant ship, and, finally, determine how these bizarre events are connected. For these events are more than simply disturbing--the peace of the entire kingdom rests upon their solution.
Abbot Iarnla insists on sending for Sister Fidelma and her companion Brother Eadulf to investigate the killing. But even before they reach the abbey walls, there is an attempt on their lives. As the mystery deepens, Fidelma and Eadulf must also wrestle with problems of their own, problems which threaten to separate them forever...
Ireland, AD 670. When the body of a murdered young noble is discovered not far from Cashel, the King calls upon his sister, Fidelma, and her companion Eadulf to investigate. Fidelma, in addition to being the sister of the king, is a dailaigh—an advocate of the Brehon Law Courts—and has a particular talent for resolving the thorniest of mysteries.
But this time, Fidelma and Eadulf have very little to work with—the only clue to the noble's identity is an emblem originating from the nearby kingdom of Laign. Could the murder be somehow related to the wave of violence erupting in the western lands of the kingdom? The turmoil there is being stirred up by an unknown fanatical figure who claims to have been summoned by "the seventh angel" to remove the "impure of faith." Fidelma and Eadulf, once again grappling with a tangled skein of murder and intrigue, must somehow learn what connects the dead noble, a murdered alcoholic priest, and an abbot who has turned his monastery into a military fortress. When it appears that things cannot get more complex, Fidelma herself is abducted, and Eadulf must rescue her before the mystery can be solved.
Once safely ashore, Fidelma—sister to the King of Muman and an advocate of the Brehon law courts—is determined to bring the killers to justice, not only because her training demands it but also because one of the victims was her cousin. The only clue to the killer's identity is the symbol of the dove on the attacking ship's sails, a clue that leads her on a dangerous quest to confront the man known as The Dove of Death.