Shadow met Laura through his best friend, Robbie Burton, who was dating Laura's best friend, Audrey. She was a travel agent and visited Shadow in prison as much as she was able, also buying him a plane ticket to return home when he got out.
About a year after Shadow was in prison, Laura and Robbie started an affair. Laura ended it three days before Shadow was released and was giving Robbie a goodbye blowjob when they got into the car accident that killed them. Shadow returns to Eagle Point, Indiana for her funeral, encountering Mr. Wednesday on his journey home.
Shadow Moon is locked up in prison, lifting weights in the yard with his cellmate, Low Key Lyesmith. He is due to be released from prison in five days but has a premonition of a storm coming. He relates his uneasy feelings to both Low Key and later in a phone call to his wife, Laura Moon. She reveals to him that she and his best friend, Robbie Burton, are planning a surprise party for him when he comes home.
That night, Shadow dreams of an orchard full of skulls and bones and a massive tree with branches that reach for him, one of them slashing Shadow across his cheek. A noose drops in front of him. He is awoken by a prison guard, leading him to the warden who tells him of Laura's death in a car accident that morning. He will be released a couple of days early to attend her funeral.
On his way to Eagle Point for Laura's funeral, Shadow arrives at Jack's Crocodile Bar where Jack offers him her chili. Shadow heads to the bathroom where Mr. Wednesday appears from a bathroom stall. He is still offering him a job and he passes Shadow a newspaper with an article on the car crash. He tells Shadow that Robbie had also died in the accident that killed Laura.
Shadow wakes up in the back of Mr. Wednesday's car on their way to Eagle Point. He finds Mad Sweeney's gold coin and Wednesday says Sweeney taught him the coin trick. He cleans up in a gas station bathroom before dropping Wednesday off at a motel and taking Betty, Wednesday's car, to the church for Laura's funeral. He is late and finds a spot in a pew next to Audrey Burton, Robbie's wife and Laura's best friend. She begins mouthing off about Laura and Shadow tells her he's sorry about Robbie. She realizes that Shadow doesn't know that Laura died with Robbie's "cock in her mouth."
The funeral proceeds to the graveside where Shadow stays through until the grave is filled. He doesn't understand why Laura would cheat on him. He had worked hard improving himself for her while in prison so he would be better than he was going in. He tosses Mad Sweeney's gold coin onto her grave. Audrey stumbles over, doped up on Ativan and having just pissed on Robbie's grave. She pieced things together and figured out that Robbie and Laura having an affair for a long time. She goes into detail about Robbie's dick being severed in the crash and what she told the coroner to do with it. She is angry that she won't ever get closure before she breaks down crying and offers him a hug. He hugs her back and she next offers him an "eye for an eye, a blowjob for a blowjob." He refuses and comforts and holds her as she cries. The gold coin on Laura's grave sinks into the dirt.
Shadow arrives at Laura's house to pack up her stuff. He avoids the coroner's box with Laura's belongings, leaving it for last. Once he's finished packing, he opens the box and removes Laura's cell phone. He scrolls through her texts and finds a dick pic from Robbie, confirming their affair. He cleans the house, scrubbing the bathroom floor so hard his fingers bleed. After he is finished, Wednesday arrives, asking if he'll miss Eagle Point. Shadow says no because it was Laura's town. Wednesday tells Shadow that he only gets to be upset for so long because Laura was cheating on him.
While Shadow and Wednesday are eating lunch in Chicago, Mad Sweeney abruptly shows up, demanding his gold coin back from Shadow because he gave him the wrong coin. Shadow asks him how he did the coin trick before he'll tell him what he did with the coin. Sweeney once again claims that he plucked the coin out of thin air. Shadow says Sweeney can find the coin on Laura's grave back in Eagle Point. Sweeney leaves, telling Wednesday he'll see him in Wisconsin.
Mad Sweeney arrives at Laura's grave and begins digging, looking for his gold coin. He gets all the way to the casket and finds a hole burned through the lid. He opens the lid and discovers the coffin is empty.
Shadow gets the key to his motel room from the front desk and heads to his room. He opens the door and discovers Laura sitting on the edge of the bed.