Alex is hired by a solicitor to find out, for his unidentified client, the state of mind of a 15-year-old student before his accidental drowning at an English prep school. Because she must investigate undercover, Alex persuades a TV producer to say that she is researching a documentary about private boys' schools, agreeing to let the producer's latest girlfriend/protegee tag along. As they delve into the student's life and look for the evil a former priest says is permeating the paramilitary school, Alex, who grew up in a series of foster homes, and rich, pampered Claudia, overcome initial antipathy to form an effective team – a unique variation on the good cop/bad cop arrangement.
At the same time, Alex's love life is challenged by the return of her friend Barty's former wife. Down-to-earth, slyly funny and driven, Alex is a complex, intelligent heroine operating in a fast, absorbing narrative.