Odd Thomas is a psychic who lives in a small town in California. He describes his ability as, "I see dead people, but then, by God, I do something about it." One morning the ghost of a teenage girl, Penny Kallisto, silently leads him to Harlo Landerson. Odd accuses Harlo of raping and murdering Penny. Harlo flees. Odd chases him into a child's bedroom in a stranger's house. Harlo and Odd fight and Harlo is knocked unconscious. Odd's friend, police chief Wyatt Porter (Dafoe), is aware of Odd's psychic gifts and promises to spin the story to keep public attention away from him.