In Philip Jose Farmers incredible sequel to The Image of the Beast, Herald Childe continues what started as a murder case - a very gruesome one - but which has now become a struggle against the strange and deadly beings who have taken his wife, who threaten his manhood and threaten mankind itself.
His seems a hopeless quest. He is fighting not people but inhuman, unhuman monster from another universe. They take grotesque physical forms, they indulge cruel whims, and they are sex-mad.
There is Vivienne, amazingly beautiful, who used to be Joan of Arc. But she has false teeth and she comes literally to pieces. Her lover is a snake-like horror whose needle teeth drip aphrodisiac venom. There is Count Igescu, a real live vampire. And these three are surrounded by a grisly crowd of bizarre aliens, characters in a science fiction nightmare. But for Childe there is to be no waking up: though no one else will believe him, he knows this is for real...