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Daniel Carter's last case as an NYPD detective ought to have been a triumph. But then the arrest turned into a "suicide by cop" and Carter's partner turned his gun on himself, and the case that should have made Carter's career ended it instead. Resigning from the force, Carter becomes a private investigator.
Then one day a lawyer calls on Carter to tell him he is the sole beneficiary of the will of a man he's never heard of before. Carter's inherited a successful business, an antiquarian bookstore in Providence. He also seems to have inherited an employee, one Emily Lovecraft, last living descendant of the author H.P. Lovecraft, and someone none too pleased to learn her new boss is some gumshoe from New York.
Then Carter receives an even stranger call. This time, it's a request for help from a professor of mathematics. What makes the call strange is that it was madeafter the professor already had died.
As Carter investigates, with the help of Lovecraft and a Providence police detective, he begins to discover connections between his last disastrous case, this new death, and the supernatural tales of H.P. Lovecraft--tales that he's beginning to suspect may not be as fictional as he once thought.