Across the world, a series of very good people—humanitarians, doctors, economists specializing in poverty—have been killed. All of them have been found with a strange mark on their backs. Is it a tattoo? A symptom of poisoning? And why would a killer leave this indecipherable sign on the bodies of his saintly victims? The killings are so bizarre, so utterly creepy, that no one in officialdom wants to probe why they are happening—no one except a Copenhagen policeman, Niels Bentzon. Tipped off by a colleague in Venice, Niels begins investigating. With the help of astrophysicist Hannah Lund (an intellectual heavyweight who runs circles around Neils), he determines that there is a system behind the deaths, and that there are, in fact, two more people targeted for execution. But how does one find two exceptionally—and genuinely—good people—and then protect them? The fear that question provokes—because what if there are no really good people left? Or what if there's no protection to offer the few who do remain?—is what makes this book so terrifyingly compelling. The answers it offers, however, make for a quietly inspiring read.