After losing his wife in a diving accident, Tim James descends into a life of drunken misery, and blames his plight on Haiti, a Caribbean nation even more downtrodden than the sorry state in which he finds himself. He's an easy mark for con artist, Vinny Berkowitz, a prominent, though bogus island attorney. Vinny convinces him that his best hope to escape his self-dug, crap-filled abyss is to take part in a ruse posing as an anthropologist in search of pre-Colombian artifacts. Unbeknownst to Tim, the artifacts Vinny truly seeks are made of gold. Vinny also ensnarls Madeleine McCoy, an attractive missionary nurse, and Ti Bon Baptiste, a peasant farmer, into his greed-driven scam. The mismatched foursome soon plunges into an odyssey replete with outer islands, dense jungles, Vodou temples, and an ancient burial cave, not knowing that all the while they're being stalked by an insidious bocor, a priest of the underworld. Immersed in one harrowing experience after another, Tim discovers a connection to Haiti he never imagined, becomes like a brother to Ti Bon, and begins to view Haiti in a new light, that being through the eyes of Madeleine. As the couple's feelings blossom, his litany of lies mounts ever higher. In fact, at the urging of Vinny, who for his latest con, is posing as a Methodist minister, everything he has told her about himself is a total fabrication. But that is the least of his problems, for on this island many believe is cursed, no one and nothing are as they seem.