12 year old Joel lives with his father in the cold northern part of Sweden. At night he often sneaks out of his father's house to look for a lonely dog he has seen from his window. On the bridge across the icy river he starts a secret society and has adventures. But one night he discovers that his father's bed is also empty and will have to come terms with his father's new-found love. The harsh reality of Joel's world comes vividly to life and leaves the reader spellbound.