California University mathematics instructor Pat O'Shea is horrified to learn that a fellow faculty member is responsible for the theft of a valuable piece of lab equipment. But biology professor Everett Adams hasn't just turned thief; he's also become a stark raving madman. After a confrontation, Adams leaves his accuser for dead, badly beaten on the outside of town. Now, no one has seen either man in days. When O'Shea awakens in a dilapidated old bungalow on a deserted stretch of nowhere, he's not in the hands of a rescuer, but rather at the mercy of a captor. The watchful old woman is demented, homicidal, and taking wicked delight in keeping a hostage. Her killer hound stands guard, and if all goes according to plan, the gravely injured O'Shea will never be allowed to leave. Frustrated by the ineffective work of the authorities, O'Shea's wife, Anabel, is committed to conducting her own investigation into her husband's disappearance. Amassing a trail of evidence, she follows a strange path of baffling clues, family skeletons, and fatal secrets. One by one, they will lead Anabel to a house on the dark side of a dead-end road.