Why is backward Millstone village, squeezed in a valley of New Mexicos Sacramento Mountains, ostracized from neighbor towns? Why do villagers stare like mummies doomed to mindless terror? Why do they shun stunning Silver Lake gorged with trout? Are ghastly rumors products of superstition and ignorance, or is a diabolical recluse linked to sinister crimes? Such questions haunt three vacationing college freshmen and test their integrity. Events emotionally, mystically, and dangerously bind them to a mysterious loner whom they gallantly, perhaps foolishly, strive to vindicate. In their struggle they uncover the truth, hidden behind a fog of mystical power and hatred, and become entangled in a snare of sinister events and confusing leads. They must consider the emotional instability and supernatural powers of the old recluse. They must consider the motives of a beautiful Apache woman who seems to match the paranormal abilities and apparent, generous nature of the loner. They cannot ignore a shifty sheriff who bends the law and covers evil deeds. They cannot overlook the remnants of a dissolved cult in the old fishing lodge where they are staying, nor can they disregard old Stella who uses her status and magicians tricks to wield power over Millstone folk. In their struggle to redeem good, the three friends honor, faith, and courage are severely tried by subversive evil. The dichotomous clash escalates from sorrow, to betrayal, to tragedy, to ultimate triumph.