Heavy drinking social misfit, Stephen is happy with his life of pubs and televised soccer. Then he gets a phone call from Rachael, a Facebook friend of a Facebook friend. She’s American, she’s gorgeous, she’s in Dublin and she wants to meet him.
Within minutes of their meeting on the seafront south of Dublin, they are attacked by armed thugs and barely manage to escape back to Stephen’s apartment. Their pursuers track them down, but before they can attack, Rachael knocks Stephen unconscious. When he comes round, Rachael is unharmed, but both attackers are dead and horribly mutilated.
Stephen and Rachael’s flight takes them to the West of Ireland, through Estonia, to Spain. Rachael is not human, and neither, Stephen learns, is he. He must decide whether his allegiances lie with the human race or the ishtal one and also survive the ishtal civil war that threatens to destroy both.