1918. Forced to flee England, Sherlock Holmes and his young apprentice Mary Russell enter British-occupied Palestine under the auspices of Holmes's enigmatic brother, Mycroft. Their arrival coincides with a rash of unsolved murders that has baffled the authorities, yet no one is too pleased at Holmes's insistence on reconstructing the most recent homicide in the desert where it occurred. What they unexpectedly uncover will lead Russell and Holmes through an exotic gauntlet of labyrinthine bazaars, verminous hovels, cliff-hung monasteries - and into mortal danger. In the jewel-like city of Jerusalem, they will at last meet their adversary, whose lust for power could ignite a tinderbox of hostilities just waiting for a spark.