In the wake of their Aunt Amity's suicide, Scott and Madeline Madden are summoned to Caveat, the eerie, decaying mansion in the Hollywood hills in which they were raised. But their decadent and reclusive cousins do not welcome Scott and Madeline's return. While Scott desperately wants to go back to their south-of-Sunset lives, he cannot pry his sister away from this haunted "House of Usher in the Hollywood Hills" that is a conduit for the supernatural.
Caveat hides a dark family secret that stretches back to the golden days of Rudolph Valentino and the silent film era. A collection of hypnotic eight-limbed abstract images inked on paper allows the Maddens to briefly fragment and flatten time--to transport themselves into the past and future in visions that are puzzling, terrifying, and mesmerizing. Though Scott and Madeline know little about these ancient "spiders" that provoke unpredictable temporal dislocations, their cousins have been using them for years.
As Madeline falls more completely under Caveat's spell, Scott discovers that to protect her, he must use the dangerous spiders himself. But will he unravel the mystery of the Madden family's history and finally free them from the past . . . or be pulled deeper, perhaps permanently, into the deadly web?
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