Penhalonga, Manicaland, Rhodesia, 1918. A well-liked young teacher at a local mission school is found dead by a night-watchman - victim of a warthog's goring. Matabele ex-policeman Samuel Kumalo, only recently back from the war in France and Tanganyika, is highly sceptical; warthogs are t aggressive animals. His investigation opens up a can of writhing worms. The mission station, outwardly so pious and conservative, is a cover for some very dark activities. Kumalo's hunt for the killer becomes even more desperate when the night-watchman is found dead, and Kumalo's own young family is targeted.