1668. John Grey is now a Justice of the Peace and lives in the manor house he has inherited on his mother's death with his new wife, Aminta. As the village is cut off from the rest of the world by a heavy snowfall, George Barwell is discovered dead in the woods. Grey is called to examine the horribly disfigured body amidst the rumours that the attack has been the work of the Devil as the victim had been cursed by reputed witch Alice Mardike just days before his violent death. As Barwell's father-in-law leads the villagers into kidnapping Alice and throwing her into the millpond to see if she floats as a witch or drowns as an innocent woman, Grey agrees to investigate the murder: his main suspect is the very man leading the witch hunt. But if Grey can't solve the mystery of George Barwell's death within a week, Mardike will be tried for witchcraft - and the sentence has already been decided
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