'By the Power of these Keys, the Head of the Church will be made the Lord of Hell' It is 2012 and a cryptic invitation leads a crime novelist to Venice's Island of the Dead. Once there he is captivated by his host's tale, which spans the centuries, but seemingly begins and ends in the dark days of the 1930's. In 1936, a similarly cryptic invitation brings Grail historian Otto Rahn to an apartment in Berlin. Waiting for him inside is Hitler's right-hand man, Heinrich Himmler, and Rahn's life is turned upside down. For Himmler wants Rahn to locate Les Serpent Rouge, a notorious book of black magic written by Pope Honorius in the 14th century. Following a trail from Paris down to Carcassonne in the South of France, Rahn discovers a web of deceit and murder.