Macbeth is an honorable Scottish lord who serves an ignoble king. When Malcolm finally goes too far, Macbeth and his wife convince themselves that Malcolm must die. (Encounters with a trio of strange women also swayed their minds.) Macbeth himself becomes king but guilt and paranoia start eating away at him and his wife.
Hartley and Hewson retell Shakespeare’s classic play as a novel, providing psychological motivation for Macbeth’s usurpation and downfall. Their Lady Macbeth is more sympathetic and less nakedly ambitious than she is usually portrayed.