As a religious and pensive eleven-year-old, Jason Trisch is again subjected to his father's corporal punishment-yielding his increasingly cynical view of God's goodness and mercy. One day after church, Jason finds a Bible passage that gives him hope. Hope that evil will be punished some day. Thirty years later, Jason meets a four-faced form in what appears to be a dream. During this encounter, the form hands him a message. He memorizes the words, then eats the parchment. Jason awakes with the ability to heal. Conversely, irresistible urges compel Trisch to seek out and punish those who physically harm others. He does so with anonymity . until a detective-friend of Jason's homes in on the assailant. However, the absence of evidence from the attacks stymies and frustrates Detective Thomas. As his suspicion rises against Trisch, Thomas wrestles with his own conscience and ambivalence about good and evil.