The Wolf of Wessex is an absorbing stand-alone novel set in AD838. Dunston, a former soldier, lives alone in a forest with his dog. One day he hears a terrible screaming and discovers the body of a pedlar butchered in the Viking way. The man has been “blood-eagled” — his lungs pulled out to rest on his back. He then finds the dead man’s daughter, Aedwen, lost in the woods.