The year is 29 C. E. and Jerusalem chafes under the Roman Empire’s continued presence and oppressive rule. But in spite of that unpleasant fact of life, life goes on—but not for everyone. People die, some because it is their time, others by misadventure. One death in particular brings the City’s daily routine to a halt. A badly scorched body is found behind the veil of The Holy of Holies—the Temple’s inner sanctum, the most sacred space on earth for the Jews. No one except the High Priest may enter this place and he only once a year on the Day of Atonement. This is no casual violation and the authorities are in an uproar. Gamaliel, the Rabban of the Sanhedrin, the ranking rabbi in all of Judea, finds himself drawn into solving this delicate mystery while dark agents with unholy interests, plot to seize control of much of the trade in certain highly profitable imports from the east and west. Loukas, the physician, plays “Watson” to Gamaliel’s “Sherlock” as the tangled web of intrigue and murder is slowly unraveled, but not before more bodies, both literal and figurative pop up. All the while Yeshua, the radical rabbi from the Galilee, continues to annoy the High Priest and smoke, Holy Smoke, from the sacrifices rise from the Temple.
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