Nine years have passed since the undead ended civilization, and now all that remains are small bands of survivors huddling in isolated towns. Ex-doctor Darrell Williams lives with his four-year-old daughter Lela and three other survivors in an abandoned electronics factory. Others weather the assaults of the relentless undead in the nearby ruins of Alden Ridge, but Darrell hasn’t been able to enter any town without suffering a panic attack since his wife Mary was murdered. Yet when his tiny community begins to undergo a nightmarish transformation, Darrell is forced to stray from the factory’s shelter.
Darrell knows he is Alden Ridge’s only hope, for he alone has seen this before -- he and Lela are the sole survivors of the collapse of nearby Stantonsburg. He must quickly discover why the land rots, why animals are becoming supernatural aberrations, and why the townspeople are undergoing the most terrifying changes of all -- despite the risk that saving every other living person he knows may mean surrendering Lela to the dark force that touched her when Stantonsburg fell. As Alden Ridge descends into chaos, he frantically searches for a way to save both his daughter and the town.