Poke Rafferty is a writer living in Bangkok, Thailand, with his fiance, Rose, and his adopted daughter, Miaow. Poke writes travels books with a unique twist - travel books that focus on the criminal aspects of locations. But he's ready to give up the danger associated with these books to have a life with his two special women.
His decision arrives in the form of a typical Thai raindrop, perhaps half a pint of warm water, that smacks the top of his forehead much as a Zen master might clobber a meditating student whose attention has wandered. Before he can blink, thunder rumbles and the sky flickers: lights on, off, then on again, and suddenly it's much darker than before. A giant burps high overhead, a noise like someone rolling cannonballs in a huge pan.
...Noi, is awakened, as she is so often these days, but the pain of her nerves burning away as multiple sclerosis licks at the sheathing tissue that covers them. She has come to think of the disease as a fire in her body, sometimes banked and sometimes burning out of control, whipped up by something she does not understand. When the disease is raging, especially late at night, it seems there is a third person in the room with her and Arthit, someone who knows how to fan the flames just by staring at her. She feels his emotionless, clinical gaze through the darkness...and on those nights she chews on the corner of her pillowcase to keep from moaning.