The Persian War is over and an unaccustomed decade of peace has come to ancient Athens. Philocles, an aspiring comic playwright, is making his living as a writer for hire; but this year is the highlight of his career - he has a play in the drama competition at the prestigious Dionysia Festival. The last thing he wants to find on his doorstep the day before is a body with its throat cut. Just who is this dead man? Is it just a robbery gone wrong? With the play that could make his name on the horizon, Philocles must find out who this man is, why he has been murdered - and why the corpse was in his doorway. He soon realises that he has been caught up in something far bigger than he could have imagined, and there are players in this game who don't want him looking any further.