On a summer evening in 1954, 16-year-old Nancy Denton walked into the woods of her hometown of Whytesburg, Mississippi. She was never seen again. Two decades on, Sheriff John Gaines witnesses a harrowing discovery. A body has been unearthed from the riverbank, perfectly preserved, yet bearing evidence of a brutal ritualistic killing. Nancy has come home at last. Already haunted by his experiences in Vietnam, Gaines must now find out what really happened to the beautiful and vivacious Nancy. As he closes in on the truth, Gaines is forced to not only confront his own demons, but to unearth secrets that have long remained hidden. And that truth, so much darker than he could ever have imagined, may be the one thing that finally destroys him.