No-one can stay mad for long with FATHER HARRY, the charismatic priest at Saint Jude's. Though some consider his lifestyle unorthodox, the good works he does among the derelict winos of Mirkhill more than compensate for his occasional drunken binges, and his uneven temper.
Certainly, MOTHER AGNES of the Holy Child always sees Harry's good side. She thinks him a kind of saint, a state to which she herself, large and plain, has always aspired. AGNES looks after rescued animals in the stables of the Convent of the Bleeding Heart.
She also feeds the local tramps, among them the poet SKY HIGH, aka CHARLES LAVERY. Dublin born and Oxford educated, Charles Lavery is the former professor of poetry at Glasgow University, now declined into alcohol and drugs, trawling the seedy environs of Mirkhill, an ancient and ruined district of Glasgow, where dilapidated historic buildings and modern slums exist side by side. A true poet, inspired by the uneducated derelicts, and romantic ruins of the ancient churchyards they haunt, he rejoices in the name SKY HIGH bestowed upon him by the gang of down and outs who call themselves 'THE WANDERERS.'
Youngster, RORY O'DONNELL, is savagely attacked at dusk, in a school art room, and left for dead. His shocking discovery by two cleaners leads to a series of murders and deceptions which embroil hardworking little MARTHA, comely VARRIE (a part time 'lady of the night'), the school chaplain, FATHER HARRY and MARIE LOUISE, a Page Three beauty in search of her lost family, and the disparate nuns of the convent next to the cemetery where the Wanderers gather.
The subsequent death of SISTER PHILOMENA, an old nun suffering from dementia, leads MOTHER MARY AGNES of the Holy Child, and Detective Constable FRANK CHILDERS to the growing suspicion that a murderer walks among them. As the community gathers for the school production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Agnes is forced to confront her own preconceptions and look behind the curtain of her ‘holy’ community.