Set in the mid 1970s rural Alabama, Dumping Grounds tells the tale of Joshua Eugene Stokes, the charismatic sheriff of Mobile County who is known for his manners, strength, and old-fashioned approach and Emma Marie Carr, a teenage loner from a dysfunctional family that has had its share of tragedy. So far, Emma's young life has been filled with disappointment. Finishing high school has been her greatest accomplishment. Frustrated by her parent's lifestyle and trying to decide what to do with her life, Emma gets a tattoo to celebrate her eighteenth birthday and then goes on a solo camping trip where she witnesses a vicious murder.
Visited by ghosts of the former Caledonia Plantations slaves and owners, aging County Sheriff, Joshua Eugene Stokes spends a great deal of his free time sitting on his porch drinking and reminiscing the past. His passion for maintaining the pride and chivalry of the Old South make him a desirable lawman; however, the discovery of the mutilated, decapitated corpse of a young woman by a state worker, leads Joshua Stokes on the most challenging quest of his career. The case forces him to question his beliefs, his integrity, and to recollect events in his life and career that have brought him to the present day. It also places his life in eminent danger, as unseen forces seem to work against his every move. A tired, disillusioned Joshua must pull himself together if he is going to be able to save this young girls life.