Three powerful Norman lords and a Saxon thegn watch their horses competing in a race near Woodstock. When one of the riders is murdered during the race, suspicion falls on the Saxon. Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret are guests at Oxford Castle while they deliberate on land disputes in the area. Caught up in the murder investigation, they feel that a man has been wrongly accused and, in trying to save him from execution, get themselves immersed in a sea of malice, treachery, lust and simmering hostility.
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