In the summer of 1954, fourteen-year-old Ted Samulski is yearning for the kind of adventure that movies and books seem to promise, but nothing ever happens in his hometown of Slaterville, Massachusetts.
He and his friends Buzzy and Zolly head off on a camping trip to explore a remote part of Great Mashpaug Lake. Th ey think they are alone, but their discovery of a sunken treasure reveals that someone is watching and listening.
Bringing their find to the surface sets off events that launch them on a desperate run for their lives through night woods and even darker swamps. Stories both ancient and modern converge as hidden sins are revisited, old transgressions are reconciled and events from the distant past reach out to shape lives in the present.