Photojournalist Mike Burke carried his camera into every war zone and hellhole on earth – and came back with the pictures (and battle scars) to prove it. He was flying high until, quite suddenly, he wasn’t. When Burke’s helicopter crashed and burned in Africa, he came away with his life but lost his heart to the beautiful woman who saved him. That’s when he decided it was time to stop dancing with the devil. But a wicked twist of fate puts an end to Burke’s dreams, leaving him adrift in Dublin with bittersweet memories… and no appetite for danger. But the devil isn’t done with him yet.
An ocean away, Jack Wilson leaves prison burning for revenge. Like Burke, Wilson has had something taken from him. And he, too, dreams of starting over. Only Wilson ’s dream is the rest of the world’s nightmare. Driven by his obsession with a Native American visionary, and guided by the secret notebooks of Nikola Tesla, the man who is said to have “invented the twentieth century,” Wilson dreams of the Apocalypse – and plans to make it happen.
As a terrifying worldwide chain reaction is set in motion, Burke alone grasps the impending horror of Wilson ’s malevolent plan. With nothing left to lose, Burke pursues an American terrorist – a twisted genius who journeys from a lawless weapons arsenal in the Transdneister to the diamond fields of the Congo… to an isolated Nevada ranch. It is here, in a climactic showdown, that a determined Mike Burke faces a nemesis who knows no fear.
As a television news correspondent, Alex Callahan has traveled to some of the most dangerous corners of the globe, covering famine, plague, and war. He’s seen more than his share of blood and death, and knows what it means to be afraid. But what he’s never known is the terror that grabs him when, on a tranquil summer afternoon, he ceases to be an observer of the dark side and, to his shock, becomes enmeshed in it.
Separated from his wife, and struggling not to become a stranger to his six-year-old twin sons, Alex is logging some all-too-rare quality time with the boys when they vanish without a trace amid the hurly-burly of a countryside Renaissance Fair.
Then the phone call comes. A chilling silence, slow, steady breathing, and the familiar, plaintive voice of a child – "Daddy?" – complete the nightmare and set in motion a juggernaut of frenzy and agony.
The longer the police search, exhausting leads without success, the deeper Alex’s certainty grows that time is running out. And when, at last, telltale signs reveal a hidden pattern of bizarre and ghoulish abductions, Alex vows to use his own relentless investigative skills to rescue his children from the shadowy figure dubbed The Piper.
Whoever this elusive stranger is, the profile that slowly emerges – from previous crimes involving twins, from the zealously secret world of professional magicians, and from the eerie culture of voodoo – suggests that The Piper is a predator unlike any other. A twisted soul hell-bent on fulfilling an unspeakably dark dream. A fiend with a terrifying true calling. What Alex Callahan is closing in on is a monster with a mission.