Jude Brighton is a tough and fearless twelve-year-old boy who goes missing from his small town of Deer Valley, Oregon. Seen as a trouble-maker, the residents believe Jude simply ran away. Stevie Clark is Jude's best friend, younger cousin and neighbour and he is determined to find out what happened to him. He begins investigating things himself. But no one really listens to Stevie or takes him seriously. Even when he unravels the mystery of Deer Valley's missing pets and even the other young boy who disappeared years ago but was later found dead; even when he uncovers a terrible secret that has been kept hidden for years.
This is told in three parts. I did not like the second part or that storyline. The only reason this book got three stars from me was because of the epilogue. I really, really liked that epilogue! I also liked the setting - a quiet town with a big, spooky house way in the woods. And poor Stevie, how could someone not like Stevie?