After a young member of the Jehovah’s Witness Church is abducted in conjunction with a ritualistic triple homicide in the mountains outside of Los Angeles, the church engages cult specialist Stephan Raszer to find her perilous trail. Based on evidence that the girl may have been trafficked into a sex and terrorism ring with a Middle Eastern nexus, Raszer soon unveils an inside–out reality that begins on the Internet and ends in a fabled fortress on the borderlands of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, where a powerful figure known only as the Old Man is said to hold the strings.
With the dubious aid of the abductee’s wayward sister, along with a renegade CIA agent and a fraternity of sojourning gamesters, Raszer journeys far from the rational world and deep into a dangerous and erotically charged netherland. Piece by piece, he gathers evidence of a world–altering criminal conspiracy linked to an ancient Persian sect that uses an Internet role–playing game to recruit its foot soldiers. To solve the puzzle and find the girl, Stephan Raszer must play the game and try to hold on to his soul and his sanity in a world turned on its head.