Canadian bookseller Alex Graham is a middle-age widower whose quiet life is turned upside down when his college-age son disappears from school in England. Leaving his safe and orderly world for the first time in his life, Graham travels to Oxford, Russia and beyond in search of his lost son who might have become involved with a high-brow, New Age group. The father's odyssey leads him to fascinating and sometimes frightening people, places and perils - including imprisonment and torture for being mistaken as a spy.
Through the uncertainty and the anguish, the loss and the longing, Graham considers his past - youth, marriage, and fatherhood. Apart from childhood illness and the loss of his beloved wife, the bookseller's life had gone rather smoothly within the confines of his small hometown, or so he had once believed.
Pulled ever deeper into conflicts between nations, as well as the eternal conflict between good and evil, Graham is stretched nearly to the breaking point by the inexplicable suffering he witnesses and experiences. Struggling to overcome fear and discouragement, he discovers unexpected sources of strength as he presses onward in the hope of recovering his son--and himself.