Amanda is excited about spending the summer with her cousin Elinore's family, who live in a remote clearning in rural Pennsylvania. There Amanda soon learns that a mysterious man called Spook Wade lives near the clearing. Everyone believes that Spook killed little Bucky Mead ten years ago. Amanda wants to find out the truth about Spook. When Elinore becomes too bossy, Amanda turns to her cousin Nelson and a new friend, Cynthia, and the trio sets out to discover the long-hidden secrets of the clearing.