The year is 1910 and San Francisco has risen from the ashes of the great earthquake and fire. Marta’s life has risen as well. The hypnotist who nearly possessed her is dead; she has married Byron Wagner, one of the wealthiest men in the city; and she is in the second trimester of pregnancy. Her world is serene, although there are a few clouds on her horizon. Her sister-in-law, Etta Marie, lives in the Wagner household and bedevils Marta at every turn, and her brother, Samuel, has begun having mood swings that make his behavior even more unpredictable than it was before.
Marta’s closest friend, Lillie, is swept off her feet by a bold, dashing stranger who arrives in San Francisco with promises of money and plans to develop the fisherman’s district into a haven of restaurants, shops, and hotels for tourists. His confident demeanor has Lillie ready to invest her money as well as her heart in the scheme, but no one can verify the man’s family name or background. Marta fears for Lillie’s emotional and financial well-being.
Marta’s own world is flipped upside down when she is asked to make a speech at a suffrage rally. She sees a pair of haunting eyes staring at her from the crowd. When she blinks and looks again, they are gone, but she knows with terrifying certainty that they belong to the hypnotist. He still lives, and he will come for her again, this time in the guise of a serial killer who leaves paper images of Hailey’s Comet beside his victims. He becomes known as the origamist, and when he leaves one of his finely crafted pieces for Marta, she realizes that he and the hypnotist are the same man. Marta wants to flee, but there is no pace for her to hide. She must enter his lair and face those horrifying eyes once more. Only this time, there will be no earthquake to save her.