Newly widowed Cora Seabourne leaves London for deepest Essex accompanied by her socialist friend and autistic son, aiming for a new start. They soon hear the "strange news out of Essex", a folk tale apparently come to life; a winged serpent that roams the estuary, terrorizing the locals and darkening the mood of the village. In her practical quest to uncover what she believes to be an as yet undiscovered species, she meets the village rector, William Ransome and they develop an intense connection, as much sparked by attraction as it is fuelled by their opposing beliefs. Perry skillfully narrates an unusual love story, an atmospheric narrative crammed with myth, superstition, passion and rising hysteria. An immediate page-turner.