A man hopelessly obsessed with finding the key to an indecipherable 700-year-old manuscript descends into a ghostly world of madness.
"Wholly mesmerizing . . . A wonderfully strange and engrossing thriller."—Kirkus Reviews
"Fast-paced and deeply cerebral . . . Wheeler's writing is adept and entrancing."—Independent Book Review
Leonard Stavros claims to speak virtually every language on Earth. He also claims to be a former intelligence agent who specialized in cracking complex codes and ciphers. But then, Leonard is psychotic, his madness fueled by an all-consuming obsession with a 700-year-old book written in what may be the most diabolical cipher ever devised. A cipher Leonard cannot crack, and which torments him with relentless, merciless cackling.
Yet even as he fights to escape the book's stranglehold, Leonard meets a beautiful young woman with her own strange fixation. A woman he feels he has met before. Perhaps, he thinks, in a dream. But a woman, nonetheless, who knows Leonard better than he knows himself—and who, it seems, may be his last hope for salvation.
From the author of the award-winning The Things of Man comes a story of arrogance, loss, and a desperate struggle for redemption.