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Faye Longchamp, back in school to pursue her archaeological aspirations, has landed a job as chief archaeologist for a rural development project, so she heads to the hills of Alabama with Joe, her Cherokee assistant. She's looking forward to a legitimate dig and hopes to uncover the mystery of the Sujosa, an ethnic group of mysterious origin. The Sujosa have lived in Alabama's most remote hills for centuries and have shown an impressive immunity to many diseases, including AIDS.
Late one night, Faye awakens to find the house in flames. She saves herself and one of her housemates, but her friend Carmen, the project historian, never had a chance. The suspicious death leads Faye to a different sort of investigation. Then within days, a teenage boy jumps from a cell phone tower that, when completed, will connect the Sujosa with the outside world. Now, Faye must use her professional and personal skills to identify the killer and discover the long-buried secret of the Sujosa as well.