1192. Returning from the Holy Land at the end of the Third Crusade with Richard the Lionheart, King of England, Sir John de Wolfe, a Devon knight, finds England simmering with rebellion. Discovering a body washed up on the shores of the River Exe, its throat cut, Sir John deduces that he was a king's courier. Tasked by Hubert Walter, the Chief Justiciar, to find out why the man died and who killed him, Sir John de Wolfe finds himself drawn unwillingly into affairs of state. His new career as a king's coroner is about to begin . . .