Worlds and cultures clash when a cynical and world-weary modern Brit is forced to team up with Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio, the turbulent genius of Italian Baroque art, in a perilous quest back and forth through time. Together, they unravel real life clues contained in his paintings and in a biography of the painter's extraordinary life, before discovering the astonishing secrets that led to his murder - 400 years before. A compact time travel device brings Caravaggio, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. It also spirits our cynically humorous narrator back four hundred years to meet celebrity suspects among Caravaggio's fellow artists, friends, lovers and patrons. Clues are traced from true facts found in period writings and paintings, including Caravaggio's own masterworks, which are reproduced so that the reader can attempt to solve the mystery themselves, or simply gorge on the astonishing images produced by Caravaggio's hand. The investigations reveal Caravaggio's prodigally degenerate genius, and we feel him writhe under questioning, as if hiding something he does not want the world to know. The narrator's forensic probes and forays across time bring us inexorably to unmask a culprit condemned by clues from Caravaggio's own works. The story is taut and shamelessly scabrous in establishing the Rabelaisian relationship between the narrator and the artist himself. Known facts about Caravaggio's life are kept intact, but the plot is ingeniously peppered with plausible inferences that intensify and enrich the dramatic and entertaining content. It is a fact that Caravaggio murdered his love rival and incurred the death sentence from the state and vengeance from his victim's family. It is a fact that Caravaggio's body disappeared after his death, despite the fact that he was the most famous artist in Europe. But if mute on Caravaggio's actual cause of death in 1610, history seethes with motives and teems with suspects. July 2010 sees the 400th anniversary of Caravaggio's death and there is bound to be worldwide interest in the life and work of this most compelling and influential artist.