Eight-year-old DONALD MCBAIN is the first of his family to discover the terrible secret of the old Packard. It is the gateway from below for a powerful demon from hell. It follows him throughout his life.
It is 1943, and ED MCBAIN cannot find work in Missouri. He moves his family to a small rental house in California and takes a job working in the shipyards. He has no idea that the old Packard sedan, left on blocks in the garage, will change his family’s life forever.
Eight-year-old DONALD MCBAIN is the first of his family to discover the terrible secret of the old Packard. It is the gateway from below for a powerful demon. While searching for his missing dog, Donald sees the demon and its small companion, but Donald’s persistent warnings are ignored by his family. He alone will have to protect his family from the hideous ratlike demon that would quench its unspeakable thirst with Donald’s younger sister, GLORIA. Donald is creative and manages to save his sister, and he temporarily thwarts the demon’s vile craving, but the demon has an eternity to wait. Twenty years later it comes back, but this time it wants Donald and his young son, DONNIE.
Donald, now a grown man and recently divorced from a drug-addicted wife, leaves young Donnie with his parents in California while he works in Asia as a CIA operative. Wounded and thought to be dead in Laos, Donald stops sending alimony checks to his ex-wife, PEG, who thinks he is trying to avoid alimony payments. She takes Donnie from Donald’s aging parents and moves to Florida, where her mother takes care of Donnie.
Donnie fears that his father will return home and worries when he does not find him there. He runs away planning to make his way back to California and to his grandparents.
In Laos, Donald encounters the old demon, which tells him of his son’s plight. The demon now wants the whole McBain family, and it holds Donald captive.
The demon’s powers are vast but not without boundaries. Donnie is as ingenious as his father and eludes the crafty fiend, but the demon uses their love to trap them.
Donnie’s grandfather risks his soul in a last-ditch attempt to send the demon back to hell, but it is his wife, MARGE, who invokes ancient rites and brings her men back, damaged but alive.