Sensational rumours of the murder of three small children by their stepmother ignite the passions of Perth citizens in 1909. Shocked by horrific descriptions of how she poisoned the children, they demand her execution as one voice. But did she do it? Or was she a victim of the prejudices of her persecutors? Anna Haebich brings to life the people of Perth and the entangled mesh of self-righteous bigotry, slander and unbridled revenge they invoke to propel the trial of Martha Rendell to its inevitable end.