Vernon Culligan had been dead to the town of Draydon, Virginia, so long that when the crusty Vietnam vet finally died, only one person noticed. Twelve-year-old Gabe grew up in the foster care system until a social worker located his Uncle Vernon two years before. When he comes home to discover that his uncle has died of a heart attack, he’s terrifed of going back into the system–so he tells no one. The next day, he discovers a strange note in his mailbox: I HAVE A SECRET. DO NOT BE AFRAID. And his uncle’s body is gone.