Hostile reviews may have hastened the deaths of some writers, but Cubby Greenwich is made of sterner stuff. At least this is what he tells himself, meanwhile obsessing about the scathing review of his latest bestseller by Shearman Waxx in a national newspaper. A feared and therefore revered critic, Waxx has an aura of mystery about him that has carried him far as an arbiter of taste, but the mystery itself is about to break cover. In an unexpected encounter with Waxx, Cubby says one innocent word, and it seems to trigger an inhuman fury in the critic, who becomes bent on destroying Cubby and everything he loves. It soon becomes apparent that Waxx is a ruthless sociopath. When Cubby finally learns the truth, can he save himself and his family from the appalling danger they are in? The terror has only just begun.