Dexter Cooke: a child of privilege, loved by his parents, adored by his peers, could have been a star. Instead, by his mid-thirties he's mired in mediocrity — a guilt-ridden son and uninspired teacher who's trapped in a lacklustre marriage haunted by three miscarriages. He's jolted out of his torpor by his student Susan Slater who experiences a sequence of paranormal visitations from a man named Gabriel at the Dancing Grasses conservancy. Could this be the same Gabriel, the charismatic shaman, whose spell Dexter fell under at seventeen? Why is he reappearing at Dancing Grasses, and why has he led Dexter and Susan to a corpse?