From the introduction:
The holiday season in Colorado is always magical. Being in the mountains, there’s always snow, and the skiers passing through give the town a good financial bump right before the holiday bills start coming in.
Even before the winter recess, students wake up each morning to a surprise: is it going to snow enough that school will be closed? Usually, that means about half a foot or more. Coloradans are tough. Even if school is open, Mr. Gretch, the gym teacher, usually lets you have a snowball fight for gym class, much to the dismay of Principal Smith (no relation to the John Smith the middle school was named after... probably). Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
But it does get dark earlier, and it’s very cold out. The winds howl — and it seems like maybe other things are howling in the wilderness, too — and this is the time of year when all those kids went missing five years ago, vanishing from their homes mysteriously in the middle of the night. But that won’t happen again, right?