Young artist, seeking answers to father’s suicide and mother's identity, finds disturbing diaries revealing murders in Nazi Germany and a village in 1950's Ireland.
Boston, 1990 - A reclusive writer is found dead in his study - branded on his body what appear to be the initials of his daughter, Maurie Cairns. Plagued with nightmares from early childhood, Maurie embarks on a search that will lead her to an unspeakable discovery.
By means of diaries, some by a woman she fears may have been her mother, Maurie uncovers a series of horrific murders, from Norway in the 1930s, to Nazi Germany, to a remote island off the Donegal coast in the late fifties.
A clairvoyant from Uzbekistan, a miraculous escape from the Nazis on the old gypsy trails across Europe, refuge in a monastery in Tibet, a castle in Westphalia where women were burnt as witches in the 17th century, a former convent used by a commune of female war refugees off the Irish coast, a set of strange paintings and artefacts…
Extraordinary encounters, characters, places and stories lead Maurie in the end to appalling revelation - the truth about her mother, her father's guilt-ridden past, and the discovery that the nightmares that have terrified her since her childhood are not simply horrors created by her imagination, but based on real events.