Switchcreek was a normal town in eastern Tennessee until a mysterious disease killed a third of its residents and mutated most of the rest into monstrous oddities. Then, as quickly and inexplicably as it had struck, the disease--dubbed Transcription Divergence Syndrome (TDS)--vanished, leaving behind a population divided into three new branches of humanity: giant gray-skinned argos hairless seal-like betas, and grotesquely obese charlies. Paxton Abel Martin was fourteen when TDS struck, killing his mother, transforming his preacher father into a charlie, and changing one of his best friends, Jo Lynn, into a beta. But Pax was one of the few who didn't change. He remained as normal as ever. At least on the outside. Having fled shortly after the pandemic, Pax returns to Swithccreek fifteen years later,following the suicide of Jo Lynn, looking for answers. What he finds is a town seething with secrets, among which murder may well be numbered. But there are even darker--and far weirder--mysteries hiding below the surface that will threaten not only Pax's future but the future of the whole human race.