Scott Nicholson’s opening line in the Red Church, “The world never ends the way you believe it will” sets up a story that takes place in the small mountain town of Whispering Pines in North Carolina, where the “old families” have a secret. What is causing the tragic, violent, unexplained accidents? Is there a mountain lion roaming the town at night? Sheriff Littlefield would like to believe that’s the cause of all the deaths, but Detective Storie sees it differently. She’s a flatlander and doesn’t believe in the old ways and superstitions.
How is the bell ringing in the old red church? The rope has been gone for years, every since, well, that’s part of the “old families” secret. And what is the dark shape in the belfry of the red church? Is that where the laughter and other sounds are coming from? Ronnie knows what it is. He’s seen it scratching at his window at night.
Sheriff Littlefield has heard the laughter. He heard it on the Halloween night years ago. The night of the tragic accident that took the life of his little brother. Was that an accident? Or is it related to all the other deaths that have happened in this small town?
Is it a coincidence that the preacher, Archer McFall is back in town and has bought the old red church? Archer is one of the old families, his mother has lived here for years, and her pregnancy with Archer has been part of intense gossip since his birth.