Abducted by a shadowy figure he never sees, chloroformed and taken to a remote mountain cabin, the Nameless Detective is told by that figure before he is deserted, that the mission is one of revenge. Nameless has destroyed his mysterious abductor's life and now his life in turn will be destroyed.
Chained with a limited supply of food and water and just enough room in the shackles to allow him to feed himself, Nameless knows that the abductor must be a component of one of his old cases...someone who he has tracked and caught for the police, someone who has served prison time and, released, wants Nameless to suffer in turn. But the detective cannot deduce who that abductor may be and, as his ordeal begins, he understands that his efforts must be more directed toward survival and escape; if he does not find a way free of the shackles he will die. Freeing himself of the shackles will involve more than an act of physical escape; Nameless must come to understand the entirety of his own life and the nature of a profession which has caused him and those he loves risk at the highest level.
Through the Walpurgisnacht of that confinement and escape, Nameless does indeed come to understand himself and in a shocking, complex, surprising but inevitable ending, Nameless comes to understand as well the nature of entrapment and purgation, and how a rite of passage must crucially take place internally as well as externally. The denouement of the novel is resonant and shattering: it is unforgettable.