STONE AND A HARD PLACE
It’s hard enough for Alastair Stone to keep his two lives–powerful mage and mundane Occult Studies professor–separate without an old friend asking him to take on a new apprentice. Especially after a university colleague wants him to investigate a massive old house for things that go bump in the night. Still, Stone figures it’s an easy job: just turn up, put on a little show, and announce that the house is clean.
Only it isn’t. A malevolent spirit is reawakening in the basement, imprisoned between dimensions and intent on escape. If it succeeds, countless people will die.
With time running out, Stone has to stay alive long enough to uncover the spirit’s secrets. But even if he does, he fears that his own power won’t be enough to send it back.
When a friend asks Alastair Stone to question a disturbed child who’s committed a horrific act, Stone has no idea what kind of rabbit hole he’s starting down. His investigations uncover more instances of appalling crimes, all committed by people with no history of violence. And other people have turned up missing…
It’s not long before Stone crosses paths with Jason Thayer, a young man searching for his runaway sister who might be a victim of the same bizarre affliction. Together, Stone and Jason are embroiled in a network of odd homeless people, strange symbols, a growing conspiracy, and deadly danger. Even if they find Jason’s sister in time, there’s no way to know if they can help her–and it’s soon clear that the problem is a lot worse than they originally suspected.
It’s been less than a month since Alastair Stone, Jason Thayer, and Jason’s sister Verity discovered a monstrous conspiracy to take over our world one mind at a time. The battle in San Francisco struck a major blow–but it didn’t eliminate the threat.
Not even close.
Where do the Evil come from? How did they get here? As Stone, Jason, and Verity dig deeper into these questions, they make a shocking discovery about the nature of the Evil–and what happened that opened the door into our dimension. What they find sends them on a desperate cross-country race from the wilds of West Virginia to the dark neon wonderland of Las Vegas as they attempt to stop the Evil at its source before it’s too late.
The portals are closed. The Evil have lost their pathway between their home and ours. No longer does humanity need to worry about extradimensional bodysnatchers with a thirst for pain and terror pouring through to wreak destruction on Earth.
So that means Stone, Jason, and Verity can rest for a while, right?
Yeah, maybe not.
The problem is, while there might not be any new Evil coming through, a whole lot of very powerful, very angry Evil are still stuck on our side. Desperate now, they’re forced to put aside their differences and work together to come up with an ambitious plan to get their pipeline of soldiers up and running. And now they’ve got a dangerous ally on their side: a black mage with a longstanding hatred of Stone.
Will Stone and his friends figure out what the Evil are up to before they can set into motion something that can’t be stopped–and that will end up killing thousands of people in the process?