For Bob Howard, a working day tends to alternate between desperately trying not to fall asleep in committee meetings and being menaced by tentacular horrors from beyond spacetime. That's because Bob works for the Laundry, the secret British government agency tasked with protecting the realm from occult nightmares. So when his manager Iris sends him off to the countryside to liaise with a veterinary inspector from the Department of the Environment, Fisheries, and rural Affairs, at first he takes it as a pleasant vacation. But why is Edgebaston Farm's livery stable buying a hundred kilos of raw meat per day? Why does his briefing file contain the death-bed confession of that old fraud, H. P. Lovecraft? And why is his contact from DEFRA so deathly afraid of unicorns…?