When a young British couple, who make jigsaw puzzles, are hired by an ageing Norwegian to take nude photos of themselves in a sculpture park in Oslo, they are drawn into a web of occult Nazi horror. Even more horrifying will be the fate of the whole world some years later if alien visitors achieve their secret aims.
However, the aftermath of events in that Oslo park will provide Anna Sharman with a key to unlock those aims.
Anna is a rebel within Britain's intelligence service at a time when most of the world appeases the aliens because of the gifts they bring - and if she must lose her own body in order to discover the truth, she will do so.
Watson (Great Escape) fuses occult horror with SF in this uneven mix of magic, philosophy, politics and science. Olaf Frisvold, a former Norwegian SS Officer, hires a jigsaw-puzzle making couple to create a puzzle that commemorates the Nazi blood-sacrifice of Frisvold's sister during WWII in Vigeland Park, an eerie Norwegian sculpture garden. A subsequent ritual enables the odious Olaf to be reborn as Jamie into a world that by 2016 has been invaded by Mockymen, machine immortals "hoping to become free-ranging energy-beings, while lesser native species" like earth's humans "went extinct." Watson makes some astute observations about what it means to be human, but his inability to decide what sort of tale he's telling a Lovecraftian nightmare, an I, Robot with Tibetan/Teutonic flare or a biting Orwellian satire produces puzzle pieces that never quite fit.