When a young, financially challenged lab demonstrator named Fred is approached by a mysterious professor, Dr. Smith, to help write up his notes from research he did on the okapi in the Congo, Fred is delighted. Not only will it give him a chance to get to know the enigmatic prof, the extra pay will also go a long way toward solving his financial woes.
However, Fred’s situation soon becomes complicated. After making a number of regrettable decisions, he embarks on a promising romance with Esther, a student from his hometown. Meanwhile, the more he gets to know Dr. Smith, the deeper Fred, Esther—and virtually everyone else in their orbit—are pulled into a dark secret from Dr. Smith’s past. Soon, the same mystery that ties them all together also threatens to tear their lives apart.