For the town of Randall, Arizona, the terror starts quietly, oddly—a senile woman in her eighties becomes pregnant.
Then the town's beloved minister mysteriously disappears, leaving his church and home hideously defiled by blasphemous obscenities scrawled in blood.
Farmers going out to their fields in the morning find their herds of goats slaughtered. Then, as the terror intensifies, the farmers themselves are massacred.
The town begins to smell of death, and the trust which has bound neighbors to one another turns to ashes.
But the relentless tide of death is only an augury of a far more unspeakable cataclysm.
A stranger arrives, an itinerant preacher with mad eyes and an elemental presence named Brother Elias. He seeks out three men: the sheriff, tough, no nonsense Jim Weldon; the new minister, a gentle God-fearing soul named Father Andrews; and Gordon Lewis, a young newlywed whose pregnant wife Marina is the unknowing center of the coming fury.
Together, these people must face an implacable force of evil as old as the world and as relentless as the desert sun...
A tale of horror set in a small northern Arizona town, this first novel begins with the desecration of an Episcopal church and the disappearance of the priest and his family. Soon, other churches are defiled with obscenities written in goat's blood. Two goat farmers are killed and mutilated after their flocks are similarly destroyed. A young boy tells sheriff Jim Weldon of a dream in which he saw the death of the priest's family at the hands of demons. Meanwhile, struggling young writer Gordon Lewis and his pregnant wife, Marina, fear that she will succumb to the epidemic of miscarriages afflicting other women in the community. When the couple goes to Phoenix for prenatal tests, Gordon is warned about the coming of Satan by Brother Elias, an itinerant preacher. As evil events escalate, Brother Elias tells the sheriff, Gordon and the new Episcopal priest, psychic Father Donald Andrews, that only the four of them can save the town, but at considerable cost to themselves. Little convincingly depicts apocalyptic events.