After a silence of twenty years, Jimmy receives an unexpected letter from his old friend and nemesis, George, inviting him on a trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Arriving in Lima, Jimmy finds the ailing George as mercurial as ever. They begin their odyssey, catching up on the intervening years, reliving periods when their lives had intersected, and revisiting the events that destroyed their relationship.
Both men are haunted by the enigmatic Denise, the woman they had lured, loved and lost in Canada. Their conquest of Denise parallels the plunder of Peru by conquistadors Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, the topic of a novel that George is writing in an attempt at self-discovery.
On the Inca Trail, George and Jimmy meet trekkers Ali and Bea who exhibit the duality of Denise: beauty and introspection. They team up, even share tents. But there are many treacherous turns along the Trail before the travelers arrive in the sacred city where George is forced to confront his personal demons and Jimmy is pushed to reverse the legacy of the conquistadors.
In this novel, Shane Joseph explores the hunger for conquest that drives change, the bonds of friendship that sustain faith, and the power of love that transcends evil.