The main character, Mike Noonan, is a Novelist living in Derry, Maine who suffers from writer's block after the death of his wife, Johanna nicknamed in the book as jo, she dies from a car accident, doctor said she would have died soon anyways from an undiagnosed brain aneurism. Johanna was pregnant, but never told him. Mike becomes dull after his wife's death, and is unable to write due to panic attacks. Fortunately, he has unpublished books, that he had made years before, and had them in case of an emergency. Mike used them to keep this agent and editor unaware of his problem.
Years after Jo's death, Mike begins to have nightmares in his his summer house, where he wanted to vacation and clear his mind. He decides to confront his fears and move to the house. Mike tries to discover if his On his way to town, Mike encounters a small child, Kyra Devore, walking down the middle of the road. Mike worries that something might happen to her, and takes away from the middle of the street, and stays on the sidewalk. A moment later, Kyra's mother, comes in her jeep and thanks mike for saving her daughter, Mike’s initial thoughts about Mattie were that’s she looked like white trash.. he was surprised when she gripped Kyra hard and told her not to run off ever again. The two talk for a few minutes and Mattie drives off.
Later that day, while in town, Mike learns from the locals that Mattie's late husband, Lance, was the son of Max Devore, a rich and influential man from the town who didn't approve of his son's marriage to Mattie. Max, now very old and in a wheelchair, wants custody of his granddaughter, and is using his money and influence to paint Mattie as an irresponsible mother. Through his caretaker, Bill, Mike learns of Mattie's past and her marriage.
When Max finds out that Mike ran into Mattie and Kyra, he threatens him through the phone. Despite all the threat she received. Mike hires John Storrow, a custody lawyer, for Mattie as an act of kindness, and he gradually develops feelings for Mattie. Because of his connections, Max manages to involve Mike into the custody battle.Mike, Accompanied by a local lawyer, Romeo Bisonette, makes the custody lawyer hired by Devore look bad by beating him at his own game and calling his bluff.
Mike begins to write again, while both Kyra and Mike experience hauntings in their homes. Mike realizes that the ghost of Jo is assisting him in solving the mystery of Sara Tidwell. A blues singer who is now haunting Mike’s house. He asks the locals about what happened to Sara Tidwell, and is warned to mind his own business and not to mess with old town myths. He also found out that Jo oftenly into the town in the year before her death, without telling him.
Max Devore threatens Mike, again, when he finds Max and his personal assistant, Rogette, on his way home and they almost drown him. It's only thanks to the help from his wife's spirit that he's able to survive the attack. Then, Max’s assistant drugs and drowns him in his bath tub and makes it look like a suicide, which left Mattie and Kyra free from his attacks. Mike, Mattie, John, and Romeo Bissonette, and a detective were having a party when a gunman shows up and shoots everyone in sight, Mattie dies in mikes arms. Mike, the only adult not hit, takes Kyra back to Sara Laughs as a storm breaks. He falls under the influence of the ghost of Sara and finds himself trying to drown Kyra and commit suicide himself, giving Kyra cocoa and Benadryl to make her sleep, and drawing the bath. But there are still parts of the mystery that Mike doesn't understand, and the ghost of Jo is trying to prevent him from doing what he is doing.
As Kyra sleeps, Mike goes to Jo's studio to search for answers. He discovers documents that Jo had hidden away before her death, and among the papers is a genealogy showing Mike's relationship to one of the town families that were cursed. all had firstborn children with K names...