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When Maggie Dalton finds a slaughtered black cockerel on her car, Tonia, her maid, says, "Someone means you harm." Jon Dalton's affair with a Brazilian woman is skewing Maggie's soul. She broods on the occult. Beneath the surface of Rio de Janeiro’s good life runs the cult of spiritism, brought over 450 years ago by captive slaves from West Africa.
Far from her Michigan home, Maggie learns of that Brazil when she seeks her answers from the priestess who rules the underground. Only Tonia realizes where Maggie is headed. She is terrified, yet conscience compels her to follow. Through a torturous path, she tracks Maggie from Rio de Janeiro north to Salvador, the cradle of Brazilian spiritism. Maggie meets the healer, Cabral, revered by the hopeless, and Tonia does battle for Maggie's soul. The knife turns. The knife always turns.