This is a moderately entertaining horror story, though not one of the author's best. Here, California lottery winner Gregory Tomasov is now a man of means. He decides to move himself, his wife, their three children, and his mother, back to his home town of McGuane, Arizona. The Tomasovs are of Russian extraction and were brought up in the Molokan religion. As a group, Molokans are milk drinking pacifists, who live strictly by the tenets of the bible and recognize both Christian and Jewish holidays and celebrations. This makes them a much misunderstood group, and their beliefs have subjected them to persecution throughout the ages. Gregory's mother is an old school Molokan, although Gregory and his family have fully assimilated into the American culture.
When they move to McGuane, the Tomasovs are, unbeknownst to them, moving into a house where mass murders took place, as a man killed his entire family and himself in one night of senseless carnage. Meanwhile, Gregory's mother, Agafia, is very upset that her son did not invoke the old Molokan tradition of inviting Jedushka Di Muvedushka to come live with them in their new house in McGuane. He is what Molokans call the Owner of the House, an unseen little man with a beard who keeps those in the house safe from harm.
When they get to their new house, it seems that the town is going through some changes. Evil seems to be lurking everywhere and odd things seem to be happening....in the dark. Despite being reunited with his best friend from childhood, Paul Mathews, owner of the local coffee house, it seems that maybe moving back to McGuane wasn't such a good idea for Gregory and his family. Their house has some of the family members spooked, and the old ritual bath house on their property has a miasma of evil hanging over it. As more and more bad things happen in the town and to the townsfolk, the talk is that perhaps the newcomers are responsible. Moreover, to the locals all the Molokans in the town seem to be suspect, as well.
Meanwhile, Agafia has joined up with other members of the local Molokan church, as she knows that evil is afoot in the house in which she, as well as her son and his family, are living. She also knows it is afoot as well as in the ritual bathhouse. She feels that it is up to her to cleanse the house and bathhouse of the evil within. She believes is her fault bad things are happening for not having invited the Owner of the House to live with them, as Molokan tradition demands. Evil, however, will not go down for the count without a fight, a fight that is proving to be more than that for which even Agafia bargained.
With most of the author's works, there is a jarring sexual note that is interjected into the story. This book is no exception. Some of it is, as always, shocking. The only difference is that, in addition to being shocking, there is one incident that is absolutely side-splittingly funny and involves probably one of the most grounded characters in the book, Odd Morrison, the local handyman. You will know what I mean when you get to that part of the book. It is, in fact, the highlight of the story in my estimation. I do not know when I last laughed so hard. Odd is one of my favorite characters in the book, along with Agafia. All the others pale in comparison.
In any case, while this is not one of the author's best efforts, fans of the author and those who enjoy the horror fiction genre will derive a modicum of enjoyment from its pages.