"December's thorn, cruelest in the wood, Will give no rose, but still draw blood" —Traditional
Fever Devilin is an academic with a complicated past and an unusual view of the world. A folklorist by training, he's returned to his family home in Blue Mountain, a small town in the heart of Georgia's Appalachian Mountains, where nothing is ever quite what it seems, and the past is always complicated. Still recovering from a near-death experience, Fever is visited by a woman who claims to be his wife. And she's there to deliver some shocking news: Fever has a son.
His friends don't really believe the woman exists—they think she's another hallucination of a mind still slowly recovering from a long-term coma. Fever's fiancée is torn between being outraged and concerned for his mental health. None of this is helped by the fact that Fever, even in the best of times, has a tendency to see things that others don't and that may not, strictly speaking, exist. But when someone starts shooting very real bullets from a very real rifle in Fever's direction, the one thing that everyone can agree upon is that there's something very deadly going on. All Fever has to do is sort out who is trying to kill him—and why—before they succeed.