Mak Vanderwall - a beautiful, street-smart daughter of a cop, graduate in forensic psychology, and now PI - is hired by a frantic, widowed mother to track down her missing nineteen-year-old son. Is it really possible that he has run off with a shady and bizarre troupe of French cabaret artistes? Has the dark beauty and magic of the burlesque beguiled him? Or has he been seduced by the mysterious and amoral older woman, who has a terrifying starring role in the troupe's modern performances of the Grand Guignol 'Theatre of Fear'? And what of the rumours of violence and tragedy that has plagued the troupe for the last ten years? Are these stories of their horrifying past fact or fiction? Meanwhile, Mak is increasingly obsessed with the powerful and ruthless Cavanagh family. And it seems their security advisor Mr White and his hitman, Luther Hand, may not have forgotten about her either.