Upon the news from her police sergeant paternal uncle Rupert Woodhouse of her father Joe Woodhouse, a former prison guard, being on his deathbed, Samantha Woodhouse, a police detective herself, returns to her small hometown of Hellmington to be by her father's side, despite they having been estranged for years. Gasping for his last breaths, Joe blurts out the name Katie Owens just before he dies. Katie was the daughter of Vic Owens, a prison guard colleague of Joe's, and a classmate of Sam's who went missing shortly after their high school prom almost twenty years ago. Vic, too, disappeared mysteriously before Katie. Katie's disappearance was never solved, although her boyfriend at the time, Brad Kovacs, was always suspected of having something to do with it. Brad has always asserted that Katie went missing after receiving an invitation to go to an occultist meeting, the occult which she was researching at the time and in which she had always believed. Because of Joe's dying words, Sam feels the need to revisit the whole issue of Katie's disappearance despite they being less than friends, they who traveled in different social circles - Sam among the popular kids, and Katie and Brad among the outsiders - and Sam having assaulted her at prom, which was their last encounter. Her investigation is with or without her uncle's blessing. Sam looks into all these aspects - the occult group, pointed to among the evidence, being the Revenians - but she also has to dig up her own painful past in the process, including the death of her daughter, Ashley Woodhouse, in a fire.