Taut and clever, Love Lies Bleeding revolves around events which begin at the Castrevenford Schools, separate boys and girls institutions where small disturbances have surprising ramifications. Gervase Fen, the Oxford Professor of Language and Literature, who has been called in to speak for the schools' Speech Day by the Headmaster, an old university acquaintance, is soon in the thick of a mystery which grows deadlier as it becomes more inexplicable. Was young Brenda Boyce assaulted, and, if so, by whom? Who has broken into the chemistry laboratory, and what have they stolen? And what, if anything, is worth the risk of committing murder?
As Fen pursues the increasingly convoluted path toward the truth, he discovers happenings more convoluted than any play.