Thumbnail: L.A. cult investigator Stephan Raszer tracks a kidnapped Jehovah’s Witness girl and discovers a cabal of assassins using an alternate reality game to recruit its footsoldiers.
A Jehovah’s Witness girl is abducted in tandem with a ritualistic triple homicide in the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles. The church engages cult specialist and shamanic P.I. Stephan Raszer to track her based on a theory that the girl has been trafficked into a sex and terrorism ring with origins in the Middle East—and in the Middle Ages. With the dubious aid of the abductee’s wayward sister, a renegade CIA agent, and a fraternity of sojournng alternate reality gamesters, Raszer follows the trail across southern Turkey to a citadel on its border with Iran, journeying farther and farther from the modern world and deeper into an alternate reality that is “a game but not a game.”