It’s a typical day at work for Anita Blake, if your day job is raising the dead, and being a U. S. Marshal for the preternatural branch. One phone call changed everything. It was from the mother of one of her live-in boyfriends. Micah Callahan’s father was in the hospital and he was dying. Micah had been estranged from his family for years, but now, his mother wants Anita to bring the prodigal son home for a last good-bye.
Anita thinks it’s going to be a tearful trip down memory lane, until she learns that Sheriff Callahan was attacked on the job by a zombie. The bite is rotting him from the inside out, as if it’s turning him into a zombie while he’s still alive, but Anita knows zombies and they aren’t contagious. But something is killing Micah’s father, and he’s not the only victim. And there are the missing persons, far too many to explain away. While Micah deals with his family, Anita is pulled into a case so terrible she has to call for back up from friends and lovers that are no more human than the some of the monsters they’re hunting, and even that isn’t enough. Edward, Death himself, comes with badge and flamethrower to watch over his friend, Anita Blake, while she fights for her life and the lives of those she loves.