Spook Johnson is overweight, greedy, sometimes cruel and something of a bigot. But he is a formidable fighter and specialises in hunting down dangerous witches.
Unfortunately, some of the women he imprisons in his cellar are not witches and this causes anger and resentment amongst the locals. Aware that his reputation leaves much to be desired, Spook Johnson hires a scribe, to record his own version of his exploits and thus turn him into a living legend. This scribe is a young noviciate monk from the local Abbey, whose name is Brother Wulf.
When Johnson finally overreaches himself and is overcome by a powerful witch, Wulf sets off in search of the only person in the whole County who might be able to help. He travels to Chipenden to request the help of Tom Ward.
Tom Ward was once apprenticed to John Gregory, the greatest of the County spooks. He is well-trained and very experienced in fighting the dark. But things are not what they seem and Tom is being led into a trap. There is a new threat from the dark that aims to kill Tom and Alice and destroy all that they hold dear.