Jeremiah Bembo lives quietly growing fruit and vegetables which his wife Judith sells at the local market. In secret, under the name of Solomon Straw, he travels the country as England's executioner, carrying out the hangings required by law. In a post-war provincial Britain seamed with commonplace corruption, he strives to maintain a balance of compassion and justice, until a murder is committed which brings his two lives into an inevitable collision.
'A brilliant, terrifying and haunting novel . . . it has an almost Dickensian moral clarity . . . It combines all the packed action of a thriller with a vision remarkable for its breadth and for its humanity' Evening Standard
'A compelling mixture of murder-mystery, Greek tragedy and love story . . . In its exploration of human depravity Tim Binding, like his executioner hero, has taken on a terrible task with grace and intelligence' Sunday Telegraph