The great house stands alone at the top of a hill. Outside, all is peaceful - but inside lies destruction of an almost superhuman degree: an incredible violence that seems to be mirrored by a series of disappearaces and deaths that have haunted the surrounding region. In this sophisticated thriller, filled with richly drawn characters and crafted with uncommon intelligence , Daniel Hecht explores with the expert detail of a Patricia Cornwell novel the perplexing, shadowy workings of the human brain.Paul Skoglund, at the mercy of the bizarre effects of his Touretts's syndrome, is desperate for a job. When his wealthy aunt hires him to repair her damaged home, Paul unknowingly enters a world where everything he values is at risk. Joined by Lia, his tough, independent girlfriend, and by Morgan Ford, a sensitive but ruthless police investigator, Paul discovers links between the ravaged house and other brutal crimes. The trio's search for answers takes them from the most ancient, primal human impulses to the cutting edge of biomedical research - and across the ambiguous borderline between thought and reality.As events lead him deeper into his family's past and the mysterious processes of the human brain, Paul must face the darkest aspects of his own nature, and brave the possibility that in saving those he loves, he might well destroy himself. Rich in neurological and psychological detail, this powerful debut novel cresendos to a shocking conclusion in which the solution to the mystery hinges upon essential and terrifying questions about what it means to be human.