David takes a job in a mortuary after losing his job at the bank. He's middle-aged and doesn't seem to going anywhere. He tells his aging mother who lives an hour away that he is the asst. manager at the bank. So, with misgivings but without another plan, he begins working at the mortuary under the fatherly guidance of the owner Martin. On April 23, he sees something -- doesn't know what to make of it. Basically it's a ghost. From there, things spiral out of control. After talking to a few friends about what he saw, someone calls the newspaper and things just keep going from there. He gets entangled with the Society for the Second World, and they begin conducting experiments with David, to measure his 'intentionality force'. All the while, he's not sure what to make of it all, but can't quite bring himself to say that the whole experience was nothing. Things get out of control at the funeral home, as business picks up and lots of people are approaching David, asking him to contact their dead relatives or loved ones. His ex-wife reappears and he thinks they have a connection, but she abruptly leaves again. In the climax, a mad man appears at the mortuary and accidentally lunges at Martin, causing him to fall and hit his head against the table, killing him. Everyone is devastated, although Martin's wife Jenny is level-headed as ever. She sells the mortuary, and the workers and Martin's family spread his ashes on the lake as he directed. David reconciles with Ellen, his librarian girlfriend, who stands by although never really believes the ghost business. So at the end David still believes that there is something out there, but never really is able to put it all together and figure out what it means.Lightman's writing is good, and he certainly gets the tension that David and everyone around him feels about what to believe and how to decide what to believe. Still it feels a little lacking in some way that I can't quite put my finger on.