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WHEN A SERIES OF UNEXPLAINABLE MURDERS SWEEPS NORTHGATE,SHERIFF RUCKSTEAD SEEKS AN UNLIKELY ALLY. The mountain town of Northgate is usually quiet, and the sheriff has little to do other than settle domestic disputes and keep the barflies out of the gutters. Yet, when a half a herd of cattle and an entire family are slaughtered in one night-he knows that he is out of his element. He reluctantly asks the woodwitch, Artemisia Corax, for aid. She puts aside their bad history and her record of numerous incarcerations to help the townsfolk. Artemisia finds herself engrossed in town politics that spans the affluent circle of the businessmen to the small operations of the family farmers. Along the way she pulls Ruckstead into a world completely foreign to him, one full of demons, superstitions, and gods. The identity of the murderers is uncovered and Artemisia assures Ruckstead that the only way to defeat them is to summon a powerful demon. When they lose control of the beast, it becomes an all-out race to save Northgate. Their situation is further complicated when they make an enemy of the Goddess of the Moon's favored daughter. The fate of Northgate hangs in the balance and with each turn it is plunged further into chaos.