In 1936, three boys experience a terrifying encounter while camping in a deserted ghost town, resulting in unexpected consequences echoing far beyond the abandoned walls of Pisgah Grande.
While camping deep in the heart of Las Llajas Canyon on Halloween night, 1936, eight-year-old Johnny and two friends, teenage brothers Orville and Skinny, set out to explore a small, abandoned village in the Santa Susana Mountains called the Pisgah Grande. But as night falls, the boys experience a terrifying encounter in the ghost town that suddenly transforms their exciting adventure into a dark mystery that begs to be solved.
As the days pass, marked by the harsh reality of Depression-era life, Johnny assumes the role of amateur detective as he struggles to unravel the mystery, with or without his friends’ assistance. Skinny is too terrified to help. As usual, Orville is ambivalent. Johnny’s sister is too busy dealing with her own problems. But it is Johnny’s friend, Ernie, seemingly simpleminded and mute, who may be more astute and observant than anyone in their small community ever imagined. As the puzzle slowly comes together, however, Johnny begins to suspect that a missing piece is right under his nose.
In this exciting young adult thriller, a series of events spirals out of control as a boy and his friends unwittingly become entangled in an adult world filled with secrets, confusion, and deceit.