Septimus feels out-of-place in his village where everyone else his age is called Darg or Smerg or Blaarg. Good, honest names that sound like you are have just swallowed something pointy or are sneezing into custard. Even his parents make him feel like a complete stranger. Especially his parents. Then he inherits something strange and frightening from his uncle. A Hairy Hand. It has the magical ability to find buried treasure which suits his parents (thieves by trade) down to the ground. However, instead of making his life better, it suddenly gets a lot more dangerous.
So, it is up to Sept to find out what else the Hand knows and put things right.