Emily Matthews, a 32-year-old library assistant, left her home state of Alabama for a small college community in northern Georgia to start over. Armed with a new job, a new house, and a new cat, she struggles for peace and familiarity in the face of strangeness and isolation. She takes solace in the company of Dr. Kelly Stein, a close family friend and a research psychologist at the university where she works. When she becomes involved in his latest research, however, ordinary nuances seem to take on a new meaning - whispers in the whirring of a box fan; the slightest breath of cold in the absence of wind; her cat's sudden hiss at the empty air above her bed. As the research progresses, whispers become a song, coldness a touch, and the air thickens to reflect the curve of a shoulder, a neck, a face. Emily and Kelly each begin their own ghost hunts to find the thread that will hold both her sanity and his integrity intact, but Emily has one distinct advantage: she can see them. And when she rises to confront them, perceptual fallacy and scientific truth threaten the refuge of her sane and ordinary life.