The skin was blistered in a pattern of torn lace. White could just see the remnants of fibre in the creases though the blackened flesh left the body difficult to identify. "Are you sure it's the vicar?" he said.
Eric Chambers shook his head. "I can't be certain until I've checked his dental records," he said, "but all the indications point to it.. Look at this." He held up an evidence bag containing a block of melted metal. "Do you know how hot a fire has to be to melt silver? This was a crucifix once. You can see the imprint on his chest."
"And this lace pattern over his skin?
"Lace." Eric laughed. "My guess is he was wrapped in it to get his body from the vicarage to the bonfire."
"So how come his back wasn't burned to a crisp?"
"Luck. The wind shifted in the night and took the fire out. He fell face down and was eaten away slowly by the hot embers. A bit like banking a fire for the night."
"I'll stick with coal, I think."