When Jennifer Southern is found murdered in her cottage on the outskirts of a Lancashire village, it reopens the book on a legacy of witchcraft that was thought to have ended four hundred years ago when the Lancashire Witches were hanged at Lancaster Castle in 1612. But their descendents have lived on, following the old religion and keeping themselves to themselves until now it seems someone it determined to wipe them out. Jennifer’s murder is just the first, and the fact that she is found with a noose round her neck, points to the fact that that her killer considers her death an execution. While the police puzzle their way through the case, Jennifer’s husband Nicholas (a direct descendent of the original Demdike) decides to deal with things his own way but finds himself pitted against an implacable enemy. As the body count rises, the police reluctantly realise they must join forces with the modern-day witches if the killer is to be brought to book. But will they find him before he carries out his plans?