'Exorcism' is a word no longer favoured by the Church of England. 'Deliverance Ministry' sounds more caring, less sinister ... so why not a role for a woman? The Rev. Merrily Watkins, parish priest and single mother, can hardly turn it down, even when the retiring exorcist, a serious opponent of women clergy, ensures that she's exposed to the job at its most terrifying.
And the situation gets no easier. As an early winter slices through the old city of Hereford, a body is found in the River Wye, an ancient church is desecrated, and there are even indications of evil in Hereford Cathedral itself, where the tomb of St. Thomas Cantilupe lies in fragments.