Detective Charles Brunswick, a Korean War veteran, who’s faith is wavering, must overcome demons from his past while working with a corrupt precinct in 1958 Los Angeles to outwit a serial killer embroiled in a church scandal of the highest order.
Brunswick investigates a double murder in the sub basement of an old church. The killer leaves a calling card. Each victim has an intricately carved chess piece placed on them. The killer taunts Brunswick with a cryptic poem. Deciphering the poem leads to a century’s old chess game dubbed “the opera house massacre”. Each murder represents a lost piece in the game. As Brunswick pieces together clues, he unravels a plot to rig a papal election, but before he can arrest the killer, he must play the game to the end where checkmate isn’t the only solution.