A country awash with paranoia and conspiracy – but a safe haven for a radical monk on the run. Giordano Bruno, with his theories of astronomy and extraterrestrial life, has fled the Inquisition for the court of Elizabeth I. Here, he attracts the attention of Francis Walsingham, chief spymaster and sworn enemy of Catholic plotters.
Bruno is sent undercover to Oxford, where the university is believed by many to be a hotbed of Catholic dissent. And where he privately hopes to locate an ancient manuscript rumoured to contain secrets so powerful it could destroy the Christian church.
Before long he’s drawn into college intrigues, and distracted by a beautiful woman. But close-knit college life is rocked by a hideous series of murders, linked by clues suggesting the victims were guilty of heretical practices. Stalking a cunning and determined killer through the shadowy cloisters of Oxford, Bruno realizes that even the wise cannot always tell truth from heresy. Some, though, are prepared to kill for it…