10-year-old Rhona goes missing. Her mother, Nancy, retreats into a state of frozen hope. Ralph, a loner, looking for some distraction, lures then murders seven little girls. Agnetha, an American academic, comes to England to research a thesis called "Serial Killing - A Forgivable Act?". Drawn together by horrific circumstances, these three embark on a long, dark journey which finally curves upward into the light.