It is 1687, and German swordmaker families seek refuge in England. This is the tale of the Shotley Bridge swordmakers.
When a German smuggler is imprisoned in Morpeth Gaol in the winter of 1703, why does Queen Anne’s powerful right-hand man, the Earl of Nottingham, take such a keen interest? At the end of the turbulent 17th century, the ties that bind men are fraying, turning neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, and brother against brother. Beneath a seething layer of religious intolerance, community suspicion, and political intrigue, The Running Wolf takes us deep into the heart of rebel country in the run-up to the 1715 Jacobite uprising.
Hermann Mohll is a master swordmaker from Solingen in Germany who risks his life by breaking his guild oaths and settling in England. While trying to save his family and neighbors from poverty, he is caught smuggling swords and finds himself in Morpeth Gaol facing charges of high treason. Determined to hold his tongue and his nerve, Mohll finds himself at the mercy of the corrupt keeper, Robert Tipstaff. The keeper fancies he can persuade the truth out of Mohll and make him face the ultimate justice: hanging, drawing and quartering.
But in this tangled web of secrets and lies, just who is telling the truth?