This won't tap the market hitherto assured for books recreating the Gospal story from various angles. If the publishers are counting on that, I venture to wager they'll be disappointed. Intellectually, the book is a cut above its predecessors, as it is scholarly, analytical (and I must confess, at times a bit pretentious and dull reading). The story covers the four days before the Crucifixion, through the activities, the plottings and plannings of the Council -- the Sanhodrin, and its leaders and members. Familiar names -- the Chief Priest, the High Priest, and so on -- all recognizing imminent peril to their inviolability in this ""innovator"", but fearing repercussions if they assume all responsibility. So through members, their machinations and plottings, you see the currents and the rottenness underlying surface jealousies, doubts and fears. You -- oh so few -- have timidly reached out for hope and understanding. The figure of Jesus is seen chiefly by indirection, until -- in brief compass -- a part of the trial is relayed, and the silence broken by his answer """" to the question paced by Cai, ""Are you the son of God!""...The book is interesting as a ""stunt"" -- but lacks the moral slant that means box office.