Esther’s long-dead father ground the people of this coastal Maine town to dust in his long-closed mills. They have hated her family name for more than seventy years. In a war for this strange little town’s soul, why are they helping her now?
An outsider has tipped the balance. A month ago, Margaret's husband left. A week ago, her father died in a car crash near his family summer home. She has come to retrieve his dog and belongings and learns that he may have died conducting a study of unexplained health effects in this odd little town.
Drawn to the once-grand structure near the crest of Mill Hill Margaret finds Esther Brandt, the last surviving member of the Brandt family, sweet, frail and living alone in terror. Esther believes herself to be an EMF hypersensitive, one who suffers pain in the presence of electromagnetic fields from radio, TV or even electric wires. And, she tells Margaret, she is under nightly attack by searing radiation of an unknown source.
Margaret turns to the townspeople for help, but finds none until a brassy school teacher named Ruth tells Margaret "Esther may be crazed, but she is not crazy."
A 21st century robber-baron has begun night flights from a reactivated World War II airfield at the top of Mill Hill. High Ground Technologies is rushing to perfect an airborne laser weapon, launching flights almost directly over the Brandt estate, unaware that anyone still lives in the dark, decrepit mansion below.
Richard Lee is a retired nonprofit health executive with a degree in communications and has worked as a broadcast and newspaper reporter. He has followed the spreading reach of electromagnetic radiation and its real and alleged human health effects over last forty years.