Joe Cassidy, who lives in a village in Co Kildare, is a leading diviner, a practitioner of the ancient art of finding underground water and of healing.
Now middle-aged, as a young man he was a house builder but kept getting ill and doctors couldn't diagnose the cause. Over time he realised that his stress and poor health were not related to some aspect of his building work but to his reluctance to follow a gift he was already aware he possessed, a gift for divining.
Eventually, he committed to that gift, devoting himself full time to healing sick houses, sick animals and, of course, sick people. Since then, he has dealt with around 5,000 cases.
In respect of sick houses and their cause, 'geopathic stress', he explains its origins from two Greek words: geo, meaning 'of the earth'; and pathos, meaning 'disease'.
Most cases are caused by the effects of underground water lines, excavation disturbances, or energy ley lines interacting with electromagnetic fields created in buildings.
A common example is a house built over underground water lines which can cause a build-up of negative energy leading to problems for the people who live above.
In The Diviner, Cassidy explains the art of divining, giving an insight into a side of life that is mysterious, ancient and yet very much part of our Irish psyche, even today.
Whether he is healing a house or a person, the same principles apply: he is connecting with what lies beneath the surface.
Of course, many people are sceptical about divining and healing, although attitudes are changing. Some years ago, when I had a persistent health problem, my doctor suggested that I engage a diviner to check my house for geopathic stress.
The diviner (not Mr Cassidy) identified six streams running beneath the old building and inserted steel rods into the ground which changed the energy from negative to positive. The energy subsequently changed dramatically in the house.
It's easy to be cynical about this kind of thing but the fact is, even if we don't fully understand what is happening, it works for many people.
Joe Cassidy gets a lot of his clues in his dreams and those clues often lead to him solving difficult cases.
For example, during one case he dreams of money hidden in an attic. The attic has been cleaned out following a man's death and there is nothing left there. But then a smaller hidden attic is discovered where a box containing €8,000 is found.
There is one healing where the solution is him eating soil from the land.
There are case histories for some of the many people who come to him for help; they vary from housewives and farmers to lawyers and record company executives.
The publishers seem to be marketing this book as an Anam Cara type mystical experience; on the cover is a tall, elderly man heading into a Burren-type landscape. This is misleading.
Unlike the beautifully written gobbledygook of John O'Donoghue's Anam Cara, what we have here is something much more grounded -- anecdotal tales of places and people.
There is no photograph of the author on the jacket. He doesn't go for publicity, nor does he advertise, preferring to let word of mouth do the job for him.
His gift is a mixture of intuition, sensitivity and vulnerability. His book -- and himself -- are worth checking out.