To escape his troubled past, Norman heads to the desert to lose himself in his work. He has just received a research grant to study the ghost towns and abandoned mines that litter the landscape. But when he comes across a group of desert-dwelling outcasts and is taken captive by their charismatic leader Jacoby, he is introduced to an alternative way of life: one that both repulses and mesmerizes. As he struggles to make sense of this strange new world – with its perverse and unorthodox practices – Norman begins to realize he must either yield to the ever-watchful Jacoby, or take his chances and run.
Ireland’s refined and sparse style cuts through to the dark heart of the American dream in this chilling novel about the thin lines that separate the civilized from the primitive, and the living from the dead.