England, 1348: as the Black Death spreads through the country, people start to die by the thousands.
In Dorset, young Lady Anne takes control of her lands, with her trusted steward, Thaddeus, at her side. Compassionate and resourceful, she decides to quarantine the estate against the terrifying pestilence, bringing some two hundred serfs inside the moated walls.
But in such a confined space, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of the world outside, Lady Anne's people wrestle with the terrible uncertainty of their futures. Fearing starvation but fearing the disease even more, who amongst them has the courage to leave the security of the walls?
And how safe is anyone when a dreadful event threatens the uneasy status quo...?
Minette Walters is one of the world's best-selling crime writers. She is the author of twelve novels, winning the CWA John Creasey Award for The Ice House, the Edgar Allan Poe Award in America for The Sculptress and two CWA Gold Daggers for The Scold's Bridle and Fox Evil. The Last Hours marks an exciting new direction for Minette. She lives in Dorset with her husband.