In a rural Kentucky mountain town, a plastic surgeon from India is rejected from prized social circles by the local elite, the same people who serve as his clients. Facing disgrace and financial ruin, the physician seeks revenge…by undoing the surgeries one by one by skinning his victims. Finally captured, the town gives a sigh of relief. But the murders don't stop and the detectives realize they've had the wrong man all along.
Private investigator Shade Bardane catches his wife Emily in bed with another man. Successfully piecing the marriage back together in counseling over several months, Emily steps in front of a speeding truck in downtown Chicago and dies instantly. With his life turned upside down, the widower with two young children quickly disintegrates into endless tumblers of booze. Soon he becomes useless at work, useless as a parent as Chicago becomes a darkened tomb haunted by memories of Emily. A geographical cure for his agony and newfound dysfunction arrives in a simple phone call. Emily's surviving sister Vanessa urges the detective to relocate with her husband and kids down south in a rural, mountain hamlet called Story Mount, Kentucky. The detective clings to the idea of healing, making a fresh start with his kids, and sees himself in a rural paradise, casting a fishing line into clear blue Kentucky lakes lined with tall pines nestled into the Cumberland Mountains. Desperate to make a change or dissolve inside a liquor bottle, Shade grabs his kids and leaves.
On his arrival, the detective attempts to take a hiatus from life, to enjoy the simple rural wonders of an idyllic rustic Kentucky landscape but is shaken by the fact he is running out of money, that Vanessa's gratuity only stretches so far, and that the dismal tide of humanity has found its way into small-town America where drug use and deterioration of the small town become painfully clear, where hoodlums with tattooed necks hop in and out of tinted-window junk cars, disoriented meth-head girls with witchy methamphetamine faces hug street corners, the rowhouses sag as they rot and fall in on themselves. Just like southside Chicago. But most of the urban decay is neutralized by the fact that traveling a few miles in any direction the sweeping vistas, clean mountains and sparkling lakes find Mother Nature shining at her finest. But the money. It's running out. Fast. School is coming up- and Brant and Lilly need a new pair of shoes. At Vanessa's urging, Shade accepts a contract as a temporary detective with the Exodus County Police Department.
Then the murders start. A sex video gets loose. Local wealthy women and socialites basking in thoroughbred horse racing fortunes are found one by one, skinned alive. And soon, the murderer comes knocking at Shade's door…