Caroline Laska Darnell is a perfectly normal 19 year-old: worried about boyfriends, acne and exams; passionate about dance music and piercings. But one day a terrible suicide attempt sees her admitted to the Retreat, a groundbreaking medical centre in the woods. To her horror, she recognises the Retreat from her nightmares about an old building haunted by ghostly dogs, and she realises that something is very wrong with the institute. She digs deeper and realises that her family are intimately connected with the history of the Retreat. Before he died, Laskas father left her a dog tooth pendant and mysterious diaries and documents. Through these, Laska discovers that the Retreat was once an asylum that almost burnt to the ground in 1902. Her research brings her to the attention of medical officer Dr Smith, and his friends Fitz and Trix. Smith is utterly fascinated by Laskas waking dreams and prophetic nightmares, but if Laska is cant trust her own perceptions, can she trust Dr Smith?