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Kate Mansfield and her blind brother Neil live in a manor on the edge of the Brent Prior moors, a dreary place populated by the dispirited and the disillusioned, where the young nurture desperate dreams of escape. And Kate is no different. But her plans to run away to the city are crushed one very ordinary morning by an inexplicable act of violence.
In the wake of the tragedy, Kate's beloved father is stricken by a strange illness, and she and her brother fall under the care of the manor's caretaker and maid.
Then, as if attuned to the melancholy that has stricken Mansfield House, a fog rolls in. Villagers begin to vanish. Lithe fleeting shadows are glimpsed in the mist, and a disfigured man arrives in Brent Prior.