Phineas Poole is notorious for making bad decisions. Blindly accepting the position as pastor of a small, unknown church in rural New Hampshire isn’t the worst choice he could make. Yet he and Sister Mary Ignatius, an overbearing, foulmouthed, glue-sniffing nun, choose to risk everything when they secretly open their rectory to shelter abused children. Their trouble begins when they take in Zachary Black, an antisocial misfit with no conscience and a burning hatred for those around him. Assuming the boy’s malevolence to be a cry for help, the priest focuses all his attention and efforts on Black, who has neither the desire to be helped, nor the intention to be reformed. Ultimately, this situation puts the lives of those whom Phineas loves in peril and forces him to reveal the sins of a dark past.