When Dale's high school idol Marcus comes home from Afghanistan, he finds that Marcus' wartime experiences have left him unrecognizable? and dangerous. When Marcus' volatile new behavior culminates in a brutal assault, Dale has to defuse the situation before people are killed. Smoketown revolves around an American soldier in the days leading up to his murder. Each chapter reveals a new facet of that soldier's life as he unravels, exposing another criminal or desperate element of his supposedly quiet Pennsylvania town.