Otha barely ages. In 6151 BC, he and his mother are tossed off a cliff by members of their Stone Age tribe because of their unchanging youthful appearance. His mother dies, but Otha survives, takes revenge on his tribe, and sets himself on a path of misery and destruction that will carry him into the 21st century. The novel plays out between scenes of Otha in his ancient world, and in modern times with characters that will have to outwit him if they are to survive. In 2005, Otha, only appearing to be about forty years old after 8,000 years, is posing as a civil engineer, Henry Warner. Henry is placing explosives so he can blow up New Orleans’ levees during Hurricane Katrina. At Rice University, Sarah Brown, a techno-geek and martial arts expert, hopes her new job will help her forget family tragedies. John Rodriguez, Rice history professor, is given a rare opportunity to translate an ancient papyrus about an evil ‘jagged man,’ but he needs some tech help. He asks Sarah to create a web site to feature the document, which turns out to be a sort of wanted poster for Otha for plotting to kill Rameses III in ancient Egypt. In New Orleans, Henry meets, tortures, murders, and becomes Claude Vieuxos, a history professor from the Sorbonne in Paris who has been hired to teach at Rice. A few days later, Otha, now posing as Professor Vieuxos, arrives at Rice, intending to lie low and play the role of professor while he plans his next big incident; but shortly after he helps flood New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina he learns about the papyrus, and about Sarah and John’s involvement with it. Knowing it could reveal his secret, his goals change. Now he needs to destroy the papyrus and kill Sarah and John. He hires a flunkie, Jake Bukowski, to gather information about them, while he becomes friendly with John in order to gain access to the papyrus. Jake might not have been the best choice Vieuxos could have made (Jake’s brain cells have been choosing to deteriorate ever since high school rather than being stuck with him), but he was handy. Sarah and John begin dating, but their new-found happiness is disrupted when Vieuxos decides he needs to get rid of them. He manages to convince Jake that he is actually an undercover FBI agent, and that Sarah and John are terrorists. After much persuading, Jake agrees to kill Sarah so the FBI can arrest the rest of her crew. Vieuxos intends to kill John himself and destroy the papyrus, so the plan is set in motion. Will Sarah and John be able to survive, pitted against a being who – though mortal – has been able to outwit his opponents for eighty centuries?