Charlie McKelvey goes to his northern hometown to find that the big city isn’t the only place with big problems.
Retired Toronto detective Charlie McKelvey runs from a cancer diagnosis and the violent memories of the big city and retreats to his hometown. A small declining mining centre, Ste. Bernadette offers McKelvey a chance to resolve old family issues, including his father’s involvement in a deadly wildcat strike in the late 1950s.
When the local police force enlists his help in tracing an upswing in youth violence and vandalism, McKelvey stumbles into the hornets’ nest of a crystal-meth industry. The timing couldn’t be worse for the town to expose its drug problem to the world: the mayor is hoping a new transmission line will be built through the town, bringing power-line jobs and construction dollars; the police chief is trying to close a deal to truck Detroit’s garbage to a local site as well as vie for the mayor’s job; and a sleazy businessman is attempting to buy up the town’s land to open a casino and resort.
Despite searches and seizures, the flow of drugs continues, leading McKelvey to suspect a local is manufacturing the drug. The Devil’s Dust holds a magnifying glass to the current decline of rural life, the scourge of meth, and what happens when an entire town loses faith.