A Quiet Belief In Angels is written from the perspective of Joseph Vaughan, growing up in a rural community in early 1940s Georgia. Early in the novel, Joseph's father passes away from a fever, and Joseph likens a white feather on his pillow to his father's angel. Afterwards, a serial killer begins committing a spree of murders, abducting and brutally killing young girls. Joseph and his friends form a group known as "the Guardians" devoting themselves to protecting the town's girls from any further harm. The townsfolk begin to suspect a German farmer named Gunther Kruger, mainly due to rising tensions because of the Second World War, and burn down his family home, killing his youngest daughter, whom Joseph had sworn to protect when the killings began. The Kruger family leave town, and the townsfolk seem satisfied the killings will leave with them.