It has existed for centuries.
A dark curse held captive by an ancient ritual, a creature of insatiable hunger possessing the ability to change shape at will. During the spring and fall equinox it would break through the walls, separating our worlds to feed.
Now it walks among us, unrestrained, and very hungry.
Daniel Blackbird has been chasing the murderous shapeshifter known as The Walker across North America for over a decade. From North of the 60th parallel to the city of Chicago and into the heartland of a small midwestern town in Manitoba. Blackbird follows unrelenting, obsessed with vengeance. In its wake, the Walker leaves a bloody trail of eviscerated victims. Along the path. Blackbird finds himself drawn to the Prairie town of Thomasville where a string of child murders is being investigated.
There, the chief of police, David Logan has uncovered a mass grave in the cornfield of a local farmer named Stephen Hopper. Hopper has confessed, even identified the graves, but claims that he is merely the caretaker of this macabre burial ground and that a creature who he thinks is the devil is responsible.
As Chief Logan grapples with the unthinkable, Blackbird sets out for the prairie town which, as the Equinox approaches, is destined to become a killing ground where cultures and worlds will collide.
Will he get there in time? And who will believe him?
From The Book:
Logan turned the light into the far corner of the basement, where he saw a glint of silver next to the hot water tank. He left Mick standing by the freezer swatting away the flies. As he stepped closer and the beam of light from his torch grew nearer, it became clear what it was. Using a pen, he lifted a three-foot length of chain that had been bolted to one of the legs of the hot water tank.
“I guess he had other things on his mind.”
At the end of the chain was a set of cheap handcuffs. He wondered if the young victims had known then what their fate was going to be. Then he set the chain back on the cold floor. “Document this.”
Mick moved away from the freezer and shot video of the chain and handcuff. He imagined poor Tommy hooked there like a dog at the mercy of the ghoul who lived here. It was almost more than he could take, but there was much more to come.
He followed Logan. His shoe grazed the chain. It clinked, and Mick felt sudden odd remorse. Strange as it might seem, he felt as though he had disturbed some artifact of the dead.
Logan spotted the big steel door at the other end of the basement and began moving toward it. It was slightly ajar, but it still blocked their line of sight to whatever dark secrets it confined. Both men wanted to know but sought the answers with gloomy trepidation as to the horrors of this modern day dungeon.
Logan reached it first and pushed the big door with the butt of his flashlight. It swung open on rusty hinges.
What the two officers were faced with was a nightmare.
Formerly it had been a passage to a cold storage room built to keep preserves and vegetables in a time when freezers were a luxury. Now it had been used for something dark and ugly. Inside the room stood a metal table, once for welding and steelwork, now transformed by Hopper into a grisly tool of torture. The cold steel had a coat of battle grey paint and on the two front legs shackles had been welded. Logan shone the light into the room as he stepped inside to examine the table. A second set of shackles, each attached to a foot of chain were welded to the far edge of the table, giving it the appearance of a 17th Century torture rack. There was just enough room to accommodate the table, the victim, and the torturer. Once inside, Hopper would have been able to close the door behind him. Logan presumed that is what he did because Hopper had doubled the insulation on the walls, making the compartment soundproof to stifle the screams of his victims.