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Police Chief Nick Catesby has been haunted for seven years by the unsolved disappearance of a young boy from his peaceful New Jersey town. When Megan Guthrie goes missing from her school playground, followed quickly by two teenage boys, Nick's nightmare begins anew. He has only one suspect, disgraced professor and town drunk Preston Howard, whose arrogance has left him with nothing more than his pride, a sea of whiskey, and his exasperated daughter, Fanny, with whom Nick is falling in love. Preston insists that he is not the culprit. Instead, Chief Catesby should seek out Gabriel, the strange and terrifying boy who appears only between dusk and dawn. Nick wants to ignore the old alcoholic's rantings, but Preston's story rings true when sightings of the boy lead to a trail of missing and murdered children going back three centuries. Now Nick and Preston must race to stop the Gabriel before more children are sacrificed to his ravenous appetite.