'In about three minutes time I'll be dead. I've accepted the truth of the matter, somewhere between the shock and pain of the bullet making its explosive entry into my chest and the long, slow fall to the cold concrete, it became a fact in my mind that I've swallowed with fatalist equanimity. There's no use in fighting it.'
It's rush hour on a cold Autumn morning when Jon Hesker takes the bullet that kills him; a punishment for seeing what he shouldn't have, for asking questions about a small pill whose innards shift and curl like black smoke.
And then he wakes up, with a circle of smooth new skin over the entry wound in his chest and a hungry black space in his mind. Cut adrift from the old rhythms of the world, emancipated from fear, from doubt, Hesker’s a new man. But at what cost?
Accompanied by his best friend and small-time criminal Alexander Corgen, Hesker's on the wrong side of the law, a fugitive on the run through a storm lashed city on the brink of collapse. Hunted by Control, the shadowy organisation whose secret he may have uncovered. Hunted by Wychelo, the strange-eyed killer who's already ended his life once.
Hesker's search for answers will lead him over the river into the old city, a wild gangland rent by paranoia, enmeshed in a generations old civil war. Footsteps dogged by death and chaos, Hesker’s shadow looms tall ahead of him, spelling despair for everyone it touches.
As the rain falls, reality seems to be shifting, changing and reshaping around the Unlucky Man.
All the while, deep in the mountains, a shadow is waking up, ancient and terrible. A great, elemental force of fear and horror, grown ineffable and transient whilst it slept, it yearns to be whole, to be real, once again. It’s hungry, hungry enough to swallow the world. And its freedom is close at hand.
Hesker might just be unlucky enough to be the tipping point between salvation and damnation.