""This is a captivating, wonderful, timeless piece of writing..." "
David Martin takes up residence in an abandoned mansion in the heart of Barcelona. Born into poverty and rescued by the man who becomes his mentor, Pedro Vidal he becomes a crime reporter and then a writer of popular pulp novels. This world of books and his strange house becomes his refuge when it becomes clear that the woman he loves is unattainable.
The house has a difficult history and the longer David stays under its roof the more its poison seeps into his soul. Despairing of ever finding happiness and discovering that he is terminally ill he accepts the offer of a lifetime from a French publisher, Andreas Corelli. He is to write a book that will sweep its readers towards a new religion and in return he will receive a huge sum of money and even, good health.
First, he writes two novels: one in his own name that sinks without trace and another in the name of his mentor Pedro, which becomes lauded by the city's literati. To make matters worse, Pedro marries the love of his life.
Bitter at this turn of events he launches into the book for Corelli and is swept up in a world more terrifying than anything he could have imagined. He becomes aware that there is a connection between the book that he is writing and the shadows that surround his home. As he struggles to find out what happened to the previous owners and just who exactly his mysterious publisher is he becomes the only suspect in a string of murders.