A domestic dispute has escalated into a bloodbath. When his uncle and aunt are found dead, Spike Sanguinetti must cross the Mediterranean to Malta for their funerals, leaving the courtroom behind. But the more he learns about their violent deaths, the more he is troubled by one thing: what could have prompted a mild-mannered art historian to stab his wife before turning the knife upon himself? Reunited with his ex-girlfriend, Zahra, Spike embarks on a trail that leads from the island's squalid immigrant camps to the ornate palazzos of the legendary Knights of St John. In Malta, it seems, brutality, greed and danger lie nearer to the surface than might first appear.