is the story of Marie, who due to a lightening bolt from the black heavens and a mutant herb, has a chance for a second journey through life. To be young again and have love long denied. Until the time comes when she must wreak vengeance upon those who would prevent her new life.
Marie, in her younger years, was an Air Force bomber pilot. She was in love and to be married. Then in a bit of a lover’s quarrel during the wedding party, she shoves him away from her and he falls from the deck of the dance pavilion into the flooding LeTort River and drowns. In great torment at the death of her beloved, Marie swears an oath never to love again. Now a doctor, she lives alone and practices medicine in rural Pennsylvania.
Brent Dickson, an engineer, is wrongly accused of the killing of a young woman. Avery Stanholt, the wealthy father of the dead woman, hires the assassin Laroche and his two killers to find and slay Brent.
Marie, on a lonely walk in the deep forest on the high reaches of Black Log Mountain, chances upon a new species of herbal plant growing in a lightening blasted area of broken trees and shrubs. The herb is a mutant created by the ripping apart of the genes of plants in the powerful electrical field of the lightening strike and mixing them into a combination to create a new specie of herb. Marie experiments with the herb by sampling tiny bits of its root. Over the next days as Marie tests the root, she discovers that she is growing ever younger, wrinkles fading, youthful beauty returning.
Hardly believing what is happening to her, Marie hastens to share her discovery of the miracle herb with her longtime friend Nell. She finds Nell murdered. When the law fails to discover clues as to who had committed the crime, or why, Marie swears vengeance and sets out to find the clues that will lead her to the murderers.
During her search for the killer, Marie encounters the handsome Brent Dickson and they fall in love. Marie and Brent join forces to solve Nell’s murder. They find that the killers are the same as those pursuing Brent. Laroche and his killers discover Marie and Brent are pursuing them and they attack the two. In the battle, Brent is killed. Marie slays one of the killers and escapes.
Marie, doubly anguished and doubly determined to make Laroche and his killers pay for their terrible crimes, trails them to the dangerous criminal underworld of the Boston waterfront with its assassins, smugglers and drug dealers. Marie draws Laroche into a trap and they clash in a battle to the death.
The conclusion of the story is startling, amazing.
“Now I’ve no time to play games with you. If you don’t answer my questions I’m going to do something horrible to your face. No man will ever look at you again without puking. First thing that’ll go will be your straight nose. If that doesn’t get your attention, then your teeth get knocked out one at a time. Now I’m ready to start working on you. Anytime you feel like talking, just give me a signal.”
Marie raised the pistol above Crocker’s face and ready to strike. “To make you understand just how serious I am, I’ll start by breaking your nose.”
”Seeing your loved ones killed will make you do crazy things. Give me names before your nose is a bloody pulp.”
Crocker gave Marie a defiant look. “I’ve said all that I’m going to.”
”You helped kill a friend of mine,” Marie growled down at the woman she straddled and held penned to the ground.
The woman was a tough one and wouldn’t break easily. What would be her weakness? Ah, that would be it. Marie took the Army Colt from her purse and laid the cold steel barrel on top of Crocker’s nose.