During the period known as the Days of Awe that lead up to Yom Kippur, Ariel Kafka, inspector in the Violent Crime Unit of the Helsinki police and one of two Jewish policemen in Finland, is confronted with the most difficult case of his career. Two Arabs are killed near the capital and, shortly after, Kafka discovers two more bodies at an Iraqi-owned garage. Are these deaths evidence of gang warfare or international terrorism? When it transpires that an Israeli Minister will make an unofficial visit to Helsinki, matters become truly complicated. The Finnish Security Police and Mossad all have a role to play and Kafka is on a trail that leads back to his youth.