Robbie Lewis attends a book launch for a fantasy novel penned by prodigious young research fellow Dorian Crane, with whose adoptive mother, Ginny, Robbie's boss Jean is trying to match-make him. Later that night a Czech hotel worker Marina is found murdered. Professor Deering, the uncle of Dorian's fiancee and muse, Alice, confesses to having seen Marina on a foreign website and paid for her to come to Oxford, finding her work. However, as a supposed gay man, he is keen to hush up his sex life with her. Robbie believes that Marina was killed in mistake for Alice and then Dorian is also murdered, in order to preserve a secret well beyond Robbie's imagination.