In "Near Death", the mysterious death of a researcher at the McCallum Neurological Institute brings Nick Knight and his partner, Don Schanke, to the Institute in search of an explanation. The head of the Institute can only suggest that they speak to the other members of the research team, which is headed by Dr. Diana Linsman.
Initially, there seems little to justify further investigation of the Institute except a gut feeling that something is being kept back. However, it eventually emerges that the research team has been engaging in unauthorized research, and the dead man had volunteered to be a test subject.
The team has built a device that induces a near-death condition. Anecdotally, there are tales that, after such near-death states, patients often enjoy a remission of illnesses that would otherwise have proved fatal. The team's experiments suggests that this may be associated with curious visions experienced in the near-death state. They have been trying the device out on themselves. The researcher who died had been under effect of the device at the time.
When the Head of the Institute learns what has been going on, he shuts down the research. Dr. Linsman murders him in the hope of being able to continue. However, her guilt is obvious; and she is arrested.