Professor David Ullman, who specializes in literate of the demonic and he concentrates on Milton’s Paradise Lost, is just finishing up another year of teaching at Columbia University in the English Department, when his life is forever changed on the last day before summer holidays. After meeting a woman who David calls The Thin Woman, who offers him a paid visit to Venice to investigate something her employer asked him to, his very dear friend, Elaine O’Brien, tells him that she is dying from cancer, and his wife finally decides to leave him.
Looking for anything to get him and his daughter, Tess, away for a while, David decides to take the Thin Woman up on her offer and goes to Venice. After Tess and him do a little site seeing, David goes to a mysterious address that shows him something that alters his life forever. Inadvertently, he brings something bad back which takes a hold of Tess. It forces Tess to jump to her death, and she disappears into the waters under Venice.
Distraught that Tess has been taken from him by a demon he calls the Unnamed, David begins a chase in an attempt to find his daughter. He leaves New York and travels across the country, and even makes a detour into Canada and to a cabin he and his family had lived at, to find the answers that he is looking for. Along the way, Elaine shows up to give David company and to help him figure out the answers to the obscured truth.
Also during his travels, David figures out the Unnamed name, and is followed by a man he calls the Pursuer who was sent after him by the Church to stop him from accomplishing what the demon wanted him to do.
Ultimately, I was pretty impressed with this book. It was hard to guess what was actually going to happen, and threw a number of curves balls throughout the plot. I will admit, I picked the book up because Pyper is a Canadian, and wasn’t expecting too much from the novel. But, it exceeded my expectations.