When investigative telejournalist Nick Pearson is sent to Darworth in Hertfordshire, he finds a community divided. A steady influx of foreign immigrants has led to racial tension and open hostility and violence. The African newcomers are particularly targeted, regular victims of vandalism and even fire-bombing. The Africans seem unwilling to fight back, until the arrival of a mysterious, powerful man who many of them know - and fear. Nick begins to wonder if there might be some kind of connection between this newcomer and the desecration of a local cemetery - an event followed by the disappearance of a number of corpses and a series of bizarre, ritualistic murders. In each case, the victims bear the same marks on their bodies. Scars that Nick has seen before, five years earlier in Africa. Ancient religion and modern prejudice are about to collide, and when they do, there may be no survivors. At least not human ones ...