Tim Ferris, having left his wife after a bitter argument, finds himself drawn to the Southern California desert. Settling in the town of Soli, he is hired to install television channels owned by Nathan Robbins, a secretive and powerful televangelist running as Vice-President on the Republican ticket. Tim meets several people in Soli who begin having similar inexplicable experiences like his own. These include receiving anymous phone calls and driving to various locations in the middle of the night as if traveling in their sleep. Each one also independently purchases at the town's only bookstore a metaphysical book entitled, The Hidden Realm, which they feel compelled to buy without understanding why or what exactly it is saying to them. Kyra, a friend and co-worker of Tim's, suggests that they could be victims of some kind of mysterious experiment. He dismisses the idea until he attends a Nathan Robbins rally and recognizes Robbins' chief campaign consultant, but can't remember where he knew her. When he learns that she recently conducted research at Stanford in hypsis and political persuasion, he finds it harder to discount Kyra's suggestion that they might be unkwing subjects in a related experiment currently performed by Robbins' political strategist. At this point even stranger things begin to happen.