A son of the manse, Mack has grown up in an austere and chilly house, dominated by a joyless father. Unable to believe in God, he is far more attracted by the forbidden allure of television and popular culture. Father and son clash traumatically one day and it may be guilt which drives Mack to take up a career in the Church.
This minister, who doesn't believe in God, the Devil or an afterlife, one day discovers a stone standing in the middle of a wood where previously there had been none. Unsure what to make of this apparition, Mack's life begins to unravel dramatically until the moment when he is swept into a mountain stream, which pours down a chasm before disappearing underground.
Miraculously Mack emerges three days later, battered but alive. He seems to have lost his mind however, since he claims that while underground he met the Devil.
Written with tight pacing, superlative storytelling and immense imaginative power, this is Robertson's most ambitious and accessible novel to date.