Illegal loggers are mysteriously dying horrific deaths in the Amazon rainforest not far from a compound housing educators and their students visiting from America. Local law enforcement officer, Eduardo Tavares, is investigating. Assisting him with gruesome tasks are Dr. Stephen Elmore, owner of the compound and medical doctor turned medicinal plant research scientist, working for an American pharmaceutical company; Dr. Julia Cole, professor and scientist conducting medicinal research on insect fungus; and two of Julia's students Alexis Cotter, a nontraditional third year student of 43, and Kosey Alingue, another third year student from Chad, Africa, who assist with testing procedures and data analysis. Watching over the whole group is Lupa, once a practicing shaman and now the caretaker of Stephen’s compound.
The opening scene reveals a frightening "trip" experienced by Will Thompson, the head of an illegal logging crew, while three dead men are found by a small boy who has been playing in the jungle. The boy finds the bodies and describes red snakes coming from their noses and ears. Could the snakes be blood?
Within days, four more men die violently, and this time, the reader watches the horrifying scene. The fluids expelled from the men morph from red to cream as most of the internal organs and cells disintegrate and mix with the blood.
All of the dead men are part of the illegal crew run by Will Thompson, whose boss, Arthur Livingston—the current owner of Livingston Lumber—has no compunction, as he ruthlessly controls the operation from the United States.
When three more men die at approximately the same time as the second men—200 kilometers away with similar conditions—the scientists conclude whatever is happening is spreading.
Enter a team of environmentalists: Dr. Nigel Diobelo, psychopathic professor from Chapel Hill, and Drake Harris, his obsessive compulsive adoring graduate assistant. Their mission is to cause havoc for other loggers, and the prospect of more deaths is imminent. Two naïve students, protective Charlie Felks, and his trusting girlfriend, Jennifer Parnell, accompany the professor and his assistant, oblivious as to the nefarious plans of their leader.
While on a path of discovery, sexual tensions mount between the widower, Eduardo, and the otherwise engaged Julia, as they face the shadows of the deaths. Will they solve this grisly mystery or will the members of the compound also succumb to the killer?
The question of “who is the killer?” may be replaced by a “what.” Could it be something from the deep, unexplored interior jungle—something that has yet to be identified by anyone?
With Scientific authenticity, the reader explores nature while contemplating the secrets of the Amazon Rainforest, the battle of man vs. man, and the terror of man vs. the environment. Life will never be the same again.
"The boy waited a few more moments for the man to wake up, as long as his young patience could tolerate, and then he reached for a stick, inching over to prod the man awake. As the tip of the stick reached the man’s chest, a single drop of blood slid from his nose. The boy watched it skim over the man’s lips, finally coming to rest as it dangled from his chin, leaving a slimy, ruby trail in its wake.
The monkeys jumped overhead in some nearby trees now, howling in some nearby trees now, howling so loudly the boy covered his ears. Glancing toward the uproar, he caught a glimpse of two more men in the nearly topless trees on the hill above, their bodies hanging limp as they dangled from their tree harnesses, saws still swaying from the ropes at their sides.
When the boy looked back into the face of the sitting figure, blood began to pour from the man's nose and ears like red snakes slithering down his body.
The boy fell back and scrambled to the path.
And then he ran with purpose."