Ex-Delta Force Davis Holland, now an agent for Customs and Border Protection, has seen it all. But nothing in his experience has prepared him for what he and the local sheriff find one freezing night in the Minnesota woods. Investigating reports of an illegal border crossing, the two men stumble across a blood-drenched scene of mass murder, barely escaping with their lives... and a single clue to the mayhem: a small wooden chest placed at the heart of the massacre.
Ben McKelvie believes he's moving up in the world when he and his fiancée buy a house in the cushy Washington, DC, suburb of Barcroft. Instead he's moving down - way down - thanks to Madeleine Roux, the crazy neighbor whose vermin-infested property is a permanent eyesore and looming hazard to public health. First Ben's fiancée leaves him; then his dog dies, apparently killed by a predator drawn into Barcroft by Madeleine's noxious menagerie. But the worst is yet to come for Ben.