A missing French inventor and his lost feature film take center stage with this dark debut of a novel by Jonathan Skariton.
The early history of motion pictures is plagued with controversy, including vicious patent wars between the United States and Europe.
In 1888, French inventor Louis Le Prince was granted an American patent on a 16-lens camera that combined motion picture with a projector. Although Le Prince mostly wanted a single-lens patent, he was not granted one. In October of the same year, Le Prince filmed Roundhay Garden Scene, which is known today as one of the only surviving pieces of the earliest production of a film. Le Prince planned to present his successful invention in Manhattan at a public exposition, and he is considered by many to be the true father of motion pictures.
Thirty-something Billie Flanagan is the perfect mother and wife. She's agile and free-spirited, embracing her attraction to nature and hiking. Her husband Jonathan is the senior editor of a popular science magazine Decode, while her teenage daughter Olive attends a prestigious all-girls private school in their little coastal California town. The domestic bliss between the three of them is perfect—or so it seems.
Deer Valley, Oregon. You could call it quiet. You could call it quaint. The residents of Deer Valley lead normal, everyday lives.
That is until Jude Brighton, the town's young troublemaker, goes missing. Everyone in town knows that the first 48 hours of a missing person case are the most important, but now he's been missing for three days without any clue of his whereabouts. Stevie Clark, Jude's cousin and best friend, presume Jude ran deep into the woods surrounding Deer Valley, deeper than either of them have ever gone. But there are stories about the woods—about the evil that lurks there. This very same evil could be related to another mysterious disappearance that occurred years earlier. While the residents of Deer Valley look for young Jude, they hope he doesn't end up like that unfortunate victim—half eaten and beaten by an unknown assailant.