Jack is a translator and language buff. His librarian girlfriend Beth is mourning her father, Frank, a minister of religion who by the time of his death had grown distant from his wife, his daughter and his faith.Beth inherits the old stone church in Sydney where Frank used to preach. After the couple moves in, Jack stumbles on a manuscript hidden in the crypt. It's written in a strange hand in an unknown alphabet with peculiar illustrations, and something about it promises great secrets.Bit by bit Jack grows obsessed. Is this bizarre book a hoax or in some kind of code? How old is it? Is it the key Beth needs to understand her father? Or does her answer lie in the box of old family photographs she finds in the church?Jack embarks on a feverish quest to understand his find-searching for answers from cryptology and forensics, from translators and philosophers, paramedics and librarians, medieval knights and mad monks. But each new turn in the labyrinth only takes him further from the truth. What is he really looking for?