It was just ather murder, but before the police can haul away the bodies it becomes obvious that sinister forces are at work. Carnage erupts from the crime scene like a firestorm. Who knew that the end of the world would start with some jilted ex killing the old wife and the new boyfriend? Phil Pierson passes the crime scene and senses a sinister chill that follows him home - a foreboding that is soon proven true by news reports of spreading chaos. Within a few short weeks, the earth is a ravaged planet, denuded of life by a rage plague called the Madness by the few, sane survivors. More mysterious than origin of the Madness is its transmission; it seizes instantly upon anybody who behaves maliciously or becomes angry. None kw where the threshold between sanity and the Madness lies. All walk the razor-thin line never kwing when they might fall. A massive firefight between gangs of rage plague victims drives Phil from his home, but he soon links up with a small group of survivors. Their hope is muted by reports of a new menace - black shrouded wraiths lurking in the night, murderously fierce, frightfully strong, and absolutely evil. They bring with them that same chill that Phil kws too well, something he w realizes is a sentient wickedness that has targeted him even as it seeks to destroy the last of the survivors. Daily existence for the survivors has been reduced to fighting the off marauding bands of insane brutes who lash the land with their pointless, pandemic rage. Still, it is t the fighting that frightens the survivors. Rather, it is the malevolent gaze of the predator Madness that terrifies them all. It is truly a fate worse than death - and a fate that seeks to possess Phil.