Ramsay audaciously sets his outstanding third Jerusalem mystery (after 2013's Holy Smoke) at the very time of Jesus's arrest. When Pontius Pilate, emperor's prefect of Judea and overseer of Palestine, is arrested for murdering his rival, Aurelius Decimus, all the evidence is against him. Pilate was caught literally red-handed, covered in blood at the scene of the crime, with his dagger stuck in Decimus's corpse. Pilate insists he was framed. Since he doesn't believe he will get justice from his Roman countrymen, he turns to Rabban Gamaliel, chief rabbi of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of first-century Israel. The rabbi's commitment to justice compels him to accept the case, despite his loathing for his client ? and the consequences to his own standing if his fellow Jews get wind of his role. Meanwhile, the Dagger Men, a sect of Jewish assassins, begin their reign of terror. Ramsay brings the tumult of the time to vivid life while neatly integrating the events leading to Christ's crucifixion into the whodunit story line.