Smart-mouthed P.I. Eddie Dancer returns for another hard-edged trip to the underground, this time to England after a psychologist friend calls in a panic: he has been accused of multiple, grisly murders, and is about to be arrested. It all began with a manuscript, the doctor claims--a 200-year-old treatise by the great Franz Anton Mesmer, who may have been dabbling in dark forms of mental manipulation. People who come in contact with the paper all end up murdered, from Mesmer's great-great-granddaughter, who smuggled it out of Germany, to Dancer's translator, who meets her fate at the brutal hands of a serial killer. Once Eddie teams up with an unlikely ally, the two of them unearth valuable information about the killings, the killer, and the power the manuscript has over their minds and, possibly, over the grave itself.