Third-grade teacher and aspiring artist, Kate Boswell has been through a lot in her forty years of life. She faced her childhood friend’s murder, a late-term miscarriage, and most recently, the death of her husband. When Kate sells a series of drawings at a gallery show to an anonymous buyer and saves her farmhouse from foreclosure, she is sure the bad times are over, but after the lucrative sale, Kate’s favorite student, Cassie, goes missing.

Kate is convinced that the Worm Man, the serial killer who abducted her girlhood friend, has grabbed Cassie too. Cassie was collecting worms in a bucket when she disappeared, and earthworms are the Worm Man’s calling card. It all makes sense—except it does not. The Worm Man has been dead for a decade.

Desperate to find Cassie, Kate joins forces with Globe reporter and Worm Man expert, Tom Kingsley. Together, they travel to Maine and follow up on a promising lead. When Kate is dubbed delusional, her involvement in the case strains her relationship with her new boyfriend, a local cop, and it puts her career in jeopardy. Fearing she will lose her freedom and the life she has only recently started to rebuild, Kate is forced to confront the most frightening ghost of her past.