In an orphanage outside Oslo, twelve-year-old Olav is causing havoc. The institution's ageing director, Agnes Vestavik, sees sheer hatred in the boy's eyes. When Vestavik is found murdered at her desk, stabbed in the neck with a kitchen knife – with Olav nowhere to be found – the case goes to Hanne Wilhelmsen, recently promoted to superintendent in the Oslo police. Hanne suspects that Olav witnessed the murder and fled, and she orders an investigation of the orphanage staff. But this, however, is one case where her instincts are leading her astray. Meanwhile, Olav makes his way to his mother's apartment in central Oslo. When police finally catch up to him, he will lead them on a chase that will upend all of their assumptions.