Published Jan 2010
In a cold, dark, winter wood, a female servant, working in the palace of Colgu, King of Cashel, is found viciously slaughtered. The child she was looking after, a six-month-old baby, is missing, apparently taken by the killer.
Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf have dealt with many horrendous murders and kidnappings in the past but this is the most shocking. The missing baby is their own son – Alchu.
Fidelma’s brother, King Colgu and his advisors insist that she is too emotionally involved to undertake the investigation of her missing child. But undaunted and supported by Eadulf, Fidelma sets out, even when there are no apparent clues, to find out whether her baby has been kidnapped or worse….
What is the involvement of a dwarf who carries a leper’s bell? Who is the mysterious stranger from the east, Basil Nestorios? Are the Ui Fidgente, the old blood enemies of Fidelma’s family involved?
And is there a terrible secret that lurks among the mist shrouded western mountains of Sliabh Mis, and who is its evil ‘Lord of the Passes’?
The journey is harsh and unforgiving and Fidelma is in constant physical danger. She also has to wrestle with her own feelings towards her baby as well as questioning her relationship with Eadulf. It proves to be one of the most complex and emotionally draining mysteries that Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf have ever sought to unravel…..