Peter Straub has engrossed, entertained and terrified readers around the world with his dazzling artistry and spine-tingling imagination. Now, in his powerful new novel - a startlingly original supernatural thriller - he takes us into the darkest dimensions of the human psyche with his unnerving take on the theme of the doppelganger.
Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan has a paralysing seizure in which he is forced to witness scenes of ruthless slaughter perpetrated by a mysterious figure in black whom he calls Mr X. Now, with his birthday fast approaching, Ned has been drawn back to his home town, Edgerton, Illinois, by a premonition that his mother is dying.
Before she loosens her hold on life, she imparts to Ned the name of his father, never before disclosed, and warns him that he is in grave danger. Despite her foreboding, Ned's determination to learn about his absent father ignites a series of extraordinary adventures that gradually reveal the heart of both his own identity and that of his entirely fantastic family.
He discovers that he is shadowed by an identical twin brother who can pass through doors and otherwise defy the laws of nature. When Ned becomes the lead suspect in three violent deaths in Edgerton, he begins to realise that he is not the only one who has come home . . .