VCU professor Caden Cole, on sabbatical in Washington state to research the economic impact of vampire films on the Olympic Peninsula, learns the unidentified body found near the Canadian border is Ben Dunn, his best friend from graduate school. Obsessed with finding Ben's killers, Caden enlists two young women to help him research Ben's recent past.
Caden discovers Ben signed a secret contract with the Council of 5 to control future presidential elections. Using data collected by a medium in two Southern cemeteries, the Council plans to gerrymander a new demographic of voters: dead white male Confederates and their sons from the Jim Crow era. In effect, they're resurrecting the Lost Cause to stop unwanted changes. Ben and his colleague apply Occam's Razor to the data and realize the impact of the Council's skewed vision on democracy. Enraged, Ben's research partner plans to expose the project, angering the Cabal and leading to Ben's death.
On January 6, as Caden returns to Virginia, he realizes his research mirrors Ben's and is endangering his and his intern's lives.