A divorced, second generation homicide detective out of San Diego, Seamus Moynihan figures he's witnessed the worst kind of violence humans can visit upon one another. Then he's summoned to a crime scene where the victim, a naked man, has been bitten to death by a snake in a bizarre ritual orchestrated by a cunning and vicious murderer. |
To catch the killer, Moynihan must embark on a mesmerizing journey into a world of twisted eroticism, black-market herpetology, fanatical spiritual cults, and ultimately one of history's enduring mysteries: Who was the second woman?
With the help of a Biblical scholar whose theories about the enigmatic wife of Cain may provide a startling link to the current investigation, Moynihan follows a twisting trail that leads to herpetologists on the cutting edge of television celebrity, Internet swingers exploring the dark depths of human sexuality...and a chilling fundamentalist cult in the backwoods of Alabama. As the mystery deepens, weaving together events of the distant and recent past, the veteran detective is forced to confront his own life's choices in a climax that threatens to destroy his sanity.