As far back as Alice can remember she and her mother have moved from place to place, followed by - and running from - bad luck . . .
But when Alice's grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get.
Her mother is taken by a figure who claims to have come from the Hinterland, the cruel, supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message she left behind: Stay away from the Hazel Wood.