Sophie Rivers has left the turmoil of her inner-city college to take an MEd course at the University of the West Midlands. But she's getting nowhere with the group of Southeast Asian students she's supposed to be helping. She confides in the excellent lecturer Carla Pentowski, but there's something strange about Carla's past - or lack of it. When some of her students start behaving oddly, Sophie talks to her old friend, Superintendent Chris Groom. But he has news of his own: the death on his patch of first one Malay girl, then another. Then Carla disappears.