In the evidence room of the Central Police Services building, Juvenile Probation Officer L.C. Teller is examining a police-taped toy box in which a four-year-old boy was buried alive twelve years ago. She has just caught the post-release supervision case of Louis Kepler, who has survived his years in confinement after the murder by telling himself his own story of Doctor Cornelius Revels’ Traveling Medicine Show, in which Louis sees himself as a courageous and magical character named Jabez Dodge. The original prosecutor of the case, and even a sympathetic former counselor at the juvenile facility, see Louis as a psychopath.
But after reviewing the records and meeting Louis, L.C. Teller begins to have her doubts. She enlists the help of senior detective Vincent Provencher, a maverick out of the good graces of the Department, who agrees to revisit the cold case. His investigation will lead him to Martha Jane Blounty, a young prostitute and drug addict, who has her own reasons for wanting to keep the case cold.
After absconding from the halfway house where Teller has left him, Louis will lead a fugitive chase across upstate New York, all the while envisioning himself as the daring scout of Doctor Cornelius Revels’ Traveling Medicine Show.