June 1195. A tall, brown mare gallops into the sleepy village of Sigford, its rider dragged by the stirrup, the broken shaft of an arrow protruding from his back. The embroidered badge on the dead man's tunic identifies him as a senior officer of the Royal Forest.
But with plenty of money still in the victim's purse, the motive is a mystery. When a second forest officer is violently attacked, County Coroner Sir John de Wolfe begins to uncover evidence of a sinister conspiracy. And why is his unscrupulous brother-in-law, the sheriff Sir Richard de Revelle, taking such an interest in the case?