The body of a fifteen-year-old girl is found in a wood near Moscow. It is Zhenya Kachalova, the daughter of a well-known pop-musician. This is the fourth child to be found dead in the last month, and the modus operandi is the same. There is no trace of sexual molestation, a lock of their hair has been cut off, and their bodies rubbed with baby oil.
Olga Filipova, a psychiatrist specializing in serial killers, is called in to help the team solve the case. She suspects that it could be the same psychopath who killed a number of blind children from an orphanage a number of years ago. They had found a box with locks of hair in the possession of a physical education teacher who had worked at the orphanage. He had confessed and hung himself while in custody for investigation. Olga had been completely convinced that he was not the murderer, but she had been excluded from the investigation.
Just like the last time, Olga’s old flame, Criminal Investigator Dmitri Solovev is on the team. Twenty years ago, Olga had married someone else and had had two children with him. But every meeting with Dmitri still threatens to derail her.
A search of Zhenya’s room reveals a total of 20,000 Euro hidden in various places. One of her mother’s girlfriends reports having seen the girl a number of times in the company of older men. Suspicion begins to mount that the girl was being exploited by a child porno ring, the customers of which include several influential men, among whom are senior government officials and secret service generals, who will stop at nothing to keep the truth from coming out. Dmitri nevertheless manages to locate one of Zhenya’s “clients,” a retired diplomat, now working as a PR advisor for leading politicians. After Dmitri’s visit, the “client” suffers a heart attack. Dmitri does not know that the PR advisor had already been using his contacts to take out the person running the porno ring, who had been filming all his customers with a hidden camera.
Olga comes to the conclusion that the murderer is driven by the missionary idea of saving the innocent children from these earthly burdens. She suspects that she has gotten very near to the truth of things, but her theories fall on deaf ears. Even the renowned psychiatrist Professor Gushenko, who considers her his most talented student, will not agree with her. In addition to this, the investigating team has its sights set on one of the teachers, Boris Rodezki, who seems to be a convincing suspect. A few days before Zhenya’s murder, Rodezki had stumbled onto a child porno site, and seen pictures of his student there. He had tried in vain to speak with her, and was, therefore, happy when her uncle suddenly showed up, a man with whom he could discuss everything. During a search of his apartment, they find a box with children’s hair, including one of Zhenya’s hairpins. It’s only thanks to Dmitri that the old man is not arrested.
Olga is increasingly concerned about a new patient who was sent to her pschiatric clinic with a diagnosis of total amnesia. She senses that he is faking it so that he can hide from someone. He can quote whole segments of text by a certain Moloch that had been published on the child porno site already mentioned. But before Dmitri comes in, the mysterious patient in the clinic is shot and killed.
Olga does not know it, but she is very close to solving the murders and that she will be the next victim. Nor does she know that the murderer is someone whom she has been very close to for a long time . . .