A month ago, Margaret's husband left. A week ago, her father died in a car crash near his coastal Maine home. She has come to retrieve his dog and belongings and stepped into a war for this strange little town's soul.
Margaret is drawn to a looming structure nearby: a decrepit mansion, where she finds Esther, the last surviving member of her once-great family, living alone and terrorized by local children. Esther believes herself to be an EMF hypersensitive, one who suffers pain in the presence of electromagnetic fields such as radio, TV and electric wires. And, she tells Margaret, she is under nightly attack by searing radiation of an unknown source.
Margaret turns to the town for help, only to find they have been ground to dust by Esther’s long-dead father and his long-closed mill. The only person stepping forward to help is Ruth, a brassy school teacher who 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. High Ground Technologies is rushing to perfect an airborne laser weapon, launching flights almost directly over the Brandt mansion.