The crack of a handgun shatters the silence of a warm summer night.... A notorious local felon and former child magician vanishes, seemingly without a trace.... A corrupt police force applies a stranglehold to a failing town.... An ailing old man hatches a last-ditch plan to save the police department he once headed, and the community he still loves.... An outsider arrives, bearing a simple recipe for death that could destroy them all.... The town of Black Falls isn't dying so much as it is quietly fading away. No supermarket. No traffic lights. No hope. Donald Maddox has returned to his hometown after fifteen years, a man with no law-enforcement background -- indeed, no background at all -- who finds himself employed as an auxiliary patrolman on a local police force known to inspire more fear than trust in its citizenry. But when a brutal murder shatters the isolation of this forgotten place, both the local cops and Maddox appear to have something to hide. As the tightly-wound mystery that is Maddox's past begins to unravel, he finds himself ensnared in a deadly conspiracy that ultimately threatens his life, as well as the lives of those nearest him.