Rebecca Rule is the sheriff of Refuge, New Hampshire. Her biggest concern is the rowdy summertime revelers making their way up from Massachusetts and New York. With most of the town's residents in neighboring Ashland, for the Fourth of July fireworks show, Refuge is quiet. That is, until the Baptist Church's bell starts ringing - on its own. In a world gone haywire, only one thing is certain, no one in Refuge will ever forget the night of the blood sky.
Sam Lake awakens from an alcohol-induced stupor to find his town, Refuge, New Hampshire, is no longer on an Earth he recognizes. While he slept, the town shifted between universes, leaving behind loved ones, severing all contact with the world they knew and resulting in several deaths - including that of Sheriff Rebecca Rule. The new Sheriff, Helena Frost, and the recently deputized ex-Army Ranger, Griffin Butler, work to coordinate a response and figure out what's happening to their small town, but they need help.
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The town of Refuge has finally come to a safe place. Surrounded by a serene freshwater ocean, it seems the town has been given a reprieve from the terror it has experienced since the shifts began. The wounded are treated. Fractured psyches are mended. And the search for answers begins. But then, the town shifts again, and it is deposited in a world of massive scale, where trees tower like skyscrapers and the creatures flying overhead are the size of 747s.
With the latest shift, the inhabitants of Refuge, New Hampshire find themselves in the charred, desolate landscape of a burned out, husk of a world. Using weapons recovered from the National Guard depot, Sheriff Helena Frost begins to organize the survivors into armed units ready to defend the town. But the mystery woman known as Sally Field, cracks under the pressure of constant and strange danger. Out of her mind, she makes a run for the town's border and into the new, dead landscape surrounding them.
The surviving inhabitants of Refuge have been shifted between worlds, never knowing what would come next. When the bell rings out once more, and the town is deposited in a new dimension, they find themselves surrounded by the worst of all possible landscapes: Hell. And a very familiar one, at that. As Griffin and Frost work to safeguard the town's survivors from untold dangers yet to come, and solve the enigma of Renford Ellison's plan, the town is thrust into a world straight out of Griffin's nightmares - and his twisted, surreal paintings.