Zoologist Dr Brendan Merlie has wasted his best years in futile pursuit of imaginary creatures. He's now leading a survey of an ecological hotspot in a forgotten corner of Central Africa. Guided by the enigmatic Salome Boann, a woman strangely at ease in the rainforest, with her own reasons for being there, the team discover a `refugium' of prehistoric plant-life. Among the forest people they hear rumours of animals, too, unknown to science. Driven by civil war, and their own competing desires, Brendan and his companions enter a shifting world in which they must come to terms with the wildness within as well as the wildness around them. The deeper they travel, the more is revealed, beyond Brendan's wildest dreams.