The beginning of Lasher finds things in the same hopeless state that they were at the end of The Witching Hour. Rowan Mayfair is helpless in the hands of Lasher, the demon that has followed and enriched the Mayfair family for centuries and who has become flesh by taking over the body of Rowan’s unborn baby. Grown to full height on the night of his birth, Lasher has taken Rowan with him across Europe to discover the secret of his past and to bear him another child like himself, abusing her terribly in the process. Meanwhile, Rowan’s husband, Michael, sits shaken and silent until another strong Mayfair witch, thirteen-year-old Mona, comes to his house and seduces him. This, combined with the appearance of the ghost of the long dead Julien Mayfair, the only powerful male witch the family ever produced, brings Michael back to reality in time to deal with the search for his wife and the menace of the strange, abrupt men who claim to be from the Talamasca, the nonviolent organization that has studied the paranormal for centuries. At the end of the story, Michael must also deal with the return of his wife in a vegetative state due to the physical abuses she has suffered at the hands of Lasher, and with the return of Lasher himself, who has come to explain his actions and beg forgiveness as the last of a supernatural race called the Taltos.