Once again, the strong relationship between the rootless Chicago detective Jeremy Ransom and the caring and wise Emily Charters adds bounce to Hunter's procedural pace. The duo's third outing (following Ransom for an Angel) finds Ransom tracking the identity of a young man who has been crucified. As Ransom searches for the killers, the elderly Charters, his surrogate grandmother and sleuthing sounding board, is in the hospital recovering from bypass surgery. Ransom's investigation leads him to the small, tight-knit religious group to which the victim belonged, but the Community of the Lord's leader, Rev. Samuel Draper, is forbidding, righteous and resolutely unhelpful. He also seems unmoved and unsurprised by the victim's death. Most of the other members are unwilling to talk openly about the victim or the church, and the one who does soon becomes another victim. On his frequent trips to the hospital to see Charters, Ransom provides her with the encouragement she needs to recover from her surgery; at the same time, she offers him the insight he requires to see through the screen of prevarication and denial thrown up by the suspects. Probably only a few Chicago policemen count Dickens as their favorite author, and fewer still are likely to have friends as versed in Shakespeare as Charters. But Ransom and Charters make a formidable and enjoyable detecting team whose partnership has developed into one as genuine as any in crime fiction.