Thirteen years after her death, Laura Ross, an assistant professor of history in Virginia, receives word from her grandfather in England that her life is in danger: she is being stalked by a fanatical secret society which, since the days of the Tudors, has manipulated and controlled the royal succession through conspiracy and murder. He himself is a member.
However, conscience stricken in his old age, he has stolen certain incriminating documents, the Folio, which he intends to publish and expose the society’s criminal and murderous past.
Ross makes her way to England only to find he has been kidnapped by the society. Joining forces with Ed Carson, a former soldier, she sets off in search of her grandfather and the Folio, hotly pursued by the society’s killers.
The chase moves to a remote abbey in France, where they unearth the ancient prophesies of an obscure monk. Forced to return to England, Ross and Carson find the Folio and uncover a link between the prophesies and the Testament of an eighteenth century priest, a connection which forewarns of the society’s murderous role in the present.
In a chilling climax, Ross and Carson are confronted by the society and learn the awful truth behind the terrible tragedy of August 1997.
About the Author
James Murphy was born in Liverpool and educated at St Mary’s College and Leeds University. In addition to The Vale of Tears, he has written a trilogy of spy novels, Cedar, Juniper and Ash; and two works of non-fiction, The Murder of Julia Wallace and Liverpool VCs.