Vincent Lee knows why people die. As a Yale graduate of Medicine, he has become accustomed to knowing the conditions that inevitably lead to fatalities. However, since becoming a resident physician at St. Mary's Hospital in Arkham, he has seen far too many horrible and unexplained deaths—an elderly victim torn apart by unknown wild animals, a healthy young man whose heart exploded without identifiable cause. Their twisted faces haunt his dreams. As a man who finds comfort in having all the answers, Vincent begins to wonder if something sinister is afoot in this otherwise quiet Massachusetts town. Unable to continue his practice with the horror that he takes home every night, Vincent decides to take a sabbatical in order to investigate these strange deaths, even if it kills him.