At the end of the first millennium South Devon was plagued by Viking raiders. A thousand years later history seems to be repeating itself as the police are kept busy investigating a series of brutal armed robberies at isolated farmhouses. Then young Carl Palister unearths a skeleton on his mother’s smallholding and DS Wesley Peterson and his boss Gerry Heffernan are called in to investigate.
Heffernan is convinced that the remains are those of Carl’s father, a local villain who vanished from the district three years before. But Wesley isn’t convinced so he calls in his old university friend, archaeologist Neil Watson. They find evidence that the skeleton could be a thousand years old and Wesley is intrigued by the possibility that it might be a Viking corpse, buried in keeping with ancient traditions. But then Wesley finds that he has a rather more urgent crime to solve - the disappearance of a Danish tourist.
When disturbing evidence comes to light that the attractive Dane, Ingeborg Larsen, has been abducted, Gerry Heffernan believes that her disappearance is connected to the spate of farm robberies. But Wesley begins to suspect that her disappearance is linked to far older events. For it seems that this may not have been Ingeborg’s first visit to this far from quiet West Country backwater...
"The abiding presence of history...adds another dimension to an already intriguing tale." Northern Echo.
"A splendid piece of whodunit, and when?" Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
"...Highly rated...(Kate Ellis) gets better with each new book." The Bookseller
"The resourceful DS Wesley Peterson returns in this latest by Ellis, a beguiling author who interweaves past and present. Peterson is confronted with ancient mystery as well as a modern-day crime when a corpse is found in a Viking boat. Like its predecessor, An Unhallowed Grave, the book works well on both levels." The Times
"Ellis skillfully interweaves ancient and contemporary crimes in an impeccably composed tale." Publishers Weekly