The Wolf Trial

By Neil Mackay

Format: Paperback

Hieronymous Bosch meets Mary Shelley in this brilliant historical epic about the true case of the world's first serial killer.

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Freight Books

Freight Books is a new imprint focused on publishing high quality fiction for an English speaking readership. They are committed to publishing work by established writers, brilliant debuts, short story collections, forgotten classics, occasional novels-in-translation and, from time to time, poetry collections.

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Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose meets Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho in this brilliant historical epic.

Inspired by an extraordinary true case - the first ever documented account of a serial killer in world history.

In the second half of the 16th century, Paulus Melchior, lawyer, academic, and enlightened rationalist, travels with his young assistant Willy Lessinger to the isolated German town of Bideburg where local landowner, Peter Stumpf, is accused of brutally murdering dozens of people. A society still trapped in a medieval mindset, the townsfolk clamour for the killer to be tried as a werewolf. If their demands are met, his blameless wife and children will also be executed in the most barbaric way imaginable as agents of Satan and creatures contaminated by wolf blood.

Paulus and Willy must fight superstition, the cruelty of those who fear what they don't understand, and a zealous church determined to retain its grip on the souls of Bideburg in this compelling, utterly unforgettable, shocking tour de force.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Freight Books
Publication Date 15 Jun 2017
ISBN 9781911332220
Number of Pages 352

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Press Reviews

'Mackay is a wonderful storyteller and this is a remarkable novel which recreates a dark period of history.' Yorkshire Post

'Mackay is a gripping storyteller and the tale is most enjoyable when the court rings with Paulus' clever rhetoric, championing logic over superstition.' The List

'In the best possible way, The Wolf Trial is a horrible book... In the world of The Wolf Trial, our best selves fizzle into inconsequence when compared to the bestial savagery of unfettered human nature. This is a novel that has the courage of its convictions.' Herald

'The novel is written with assurance and authority. Time and place are evoked vividly and memorably. It is full of horrors, like a painting by Hieronymus Bosch or a Tarantino movie...' Scotsman

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