Fourteen year-old Pierre's mother is dead, and he came a long way to his present life in Camden with his white dad Stevo; from Brussels, via numerous failing and rejecting schools. Pierre hasn't seen his grandmother Missy since he left the family flat in Brussels' African quarter. She had travelled further than the boy; from Zaire, along with a stack of potions, voodoo recipes and the means to cast a long-distance hex. Ashley Cochrane taught Pierre English, and he thought the boy harmless enough when term started. Peachey was the one you had to watch, the one who dictated how fast 9M spat out a new teacher. Unknown to both man and boy, Ashley's ties with Pierre's family go back a way, and they are bloody. It looks like it was Peachey who was pulling the strings when Ashley's luck plummeted. So why is it Pierre who's lined up for the special psychiatric unit?