“Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is drawn to the unfamiliar north after Dan Golding, an old university friend, is burned to death in his home.
She soon learns her friend has made a great discovery and his death may not have been an accident. This becomes even more clear when Ruth herself begins receiving threats from a sinister right-wing clan called the White Hand.
Golding had excavated the remains of a “Raven King” who may have been the King Arthur of legend. Other associates of Golding at the Lancashire university act suspicious or appear frightened and the White Hand seems determined to keep the discovery quiet for reasons Ruth doesn’t immediately fathom.
Detective Inspector Harry Nelson, father of Ruth’s daughter, Kate, is also in Lancashire visiting family and is frustrated at only being able to observe as his old friend Sandy Macleod investigates Golding’s death and the other strange goings on.
The story unfolds slowly and even the identity of the Arch Wizard came as no great surprise. Still, I’ve been a fan of this series since the start and it was pleasant to be again in company of Ruth, Nelson, Cathbad and the other familiar characters.