Raphael LaFontaine's parents were "root workers," hoodoo practitioners who sold potions, infusions, vapors, and spells in Beauregard
Parish, Louisiana. Both before and while she was pregnant with Raphael, Malina LaFontaine ingested the herbs and roots that were her
and her husband's stock in trade.
Perhaps as a result of this, from early childhood Raphael was afflicted with strange visions and
fever dreams. He grew up considering himself a freak masquerading as a normal person, but his spells sometimes allowed him to see
deeply into other people's emotions and personalities. Both a curse and a gift, these talents have served Rafe well, first as a Baltimore
police officer, then as a private detective.
A frayed-at-the-edges lawyer asks Rafe to help his client with a simple matter, a hard
to get rid of ex-boyfriend who also happens to be a Baltimore cop.
When Rafe sets out to meet his new client he is attacked and
when he wakes up he finds that nothing is what it had seemed, and that he is suspected of murdering a complete stranger.
discovers that he is being followed but a confrontation with the watcher results in more questions than answers, and Rafe inexorably
becomes more deeply entangled in a confusing web of lies and murder.