Fifteen-year old Dani likes the blues, bad boys, and trouble, and has no problems attracting any of them. When she moves with her dad for the summer from Minneapolis to the rural Ozark town he was raised in, she’s soon in deeper than ever. She experiments with smoking pot, puzzles over the Indian bear claw necklace her grandfather left her, and falls for seventeen-year old guitar-picker Eli.
Eli recruits Dani into his bluegrass band and charms her with his knowledge of local Indian lore. Dani finds him mystical and alluring, all the more so when she discovers his penchant for sudden violence. Others are worried about Dani and watching out for her well-being: her dad; her eccentric Aunt Eunice who raises her own food and keeps dead rattlesnakes in the freezer; and the hot but straight-arrow preacher’s son, Austin.
But even their help may not be enough to protect Dani when Eli reveals to her a hidden Indian burial site and his plans to perform a ritual there to keep his sick father alive. He needs Dani because he believes her bear claw allows her to harness the site’s spiritual energy. Unfortunately, the ritual also requires a human sacrifice and Dani must decide whether to risk her safety by turning against Eli—or if she even wants to.