Corpse Club Summary

In Oregon, early 1980, a serial killer nicknamed "Bauta" (after their distinctive costume: a dark blue cape, fedora, and a black bauta mask) is arrested; the culprit is revealed to be a young army private named Armstrong. He is tried and found guilty at the local city courthouse. As he is being escorted out by officers Jan Tarbullo and Sarah Feininger, Armstrong is shot twice by a mysterious figure across the street. Feininger gives chase as Jan attempts to stop the bleeding. Armstrong whispers to Tarbullo the phrase "polynikus seori culcana", followed by "Stay away from Seveka" before dying. Feininger returns empty-handed as the police secure the scene.

Five years later, transit worker Hank Prentiss - Armstrong's shooter - is finishing up his shift cleaning an empty subway train. Prentiss seemingly spots a figure and decides to leave early. As he is going up the stairs, he is attacked by Bauta and falls backwards to his death. He leaves a dying message in blood: "Seveka L4." Prentiss's murder is being investigated by Tarbullo, who has quit and become a private investigator, and now-detective Feininger as a continuation of the serial killings. Tarbullo connects the dying messages of Armstrong and Prentiss and inquires about Seveka; he is told it is a small coastal town. Tarbullo drives to Seveka and rents a room at a local inn. As he unpacks, he sees the figure of Armstrong standing in the street. Tarbullo rushes out but the figure disappears. When he re-enters the inn, Tarbullo notices a photograph on the wall depicting Armstrong, Prentiss, and another man. He recognizes the third man as Aust Hanalei - another one of Armstrong's original victims. Tarbullo calls Feininger to let her know about the leads before going to bed.