John M. Harrison delivers an extraordinary, genre-bending novel that weaves together mythology, sexuality, and the troubled past and present of Eastern Europe.
It begins on a hot May night, when three Cambridge students carry out a ritualistic act that changes their lives.
Years later, none of the participants can remember what exactly transpired; but their clouded memories can't rid them of an overwhelming sense of dread.
Pam Stuyvesant is an epileptic haunted by strange sensual visions.
Her husband Lucas believes that a dwarfish creature is stalking him.
Self-styled Sorcerer Yaxley becomes obsessed with a terrifyingly transcendent reality.
The seemingly least effected participant in the ritual (who is haunted by the smell of roses) attempts to help his friends escape the torment that has engulfed their lives.