The mysterious death of a priest at the High Altar on Good Friday sets into motion a story narrated by Dr. Jonathan Hullah, the physician who signed the priest's death certificate. The doctor looks back over his long life, from Sioux Lookout, Ontario in the 1920s and 1930s to Toronto in the 1980s. Hullah made a name for himself as an expert diagnostician; he could usually divine what ailed his patients, although what ailed them was often found in their souls rather than in any particular organ of the body; he is the "cunning man" of the title. Some of the same characters from "Murther and Walking Spirits" show up in this story, however, this novel stands on its own and it is not necessary to have read MURTHER to enjoy THE CUNNING MAN. This outstanding novel was the last of Davies's books to be published during his lifetime.