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Tripp Kelly is an easygoing film professor at the university in Oakdale and is well-liked by students and faculty members. Newly married to a former student named Dana, he’s never been happier and loves what he does, which includes putting on a popular independent film festival each spring. He’s also a serial killer.
When Martina Donovan, a traveling pharmaceutical rep, disappears after detouring through Oakdale on her way to visit a close friend in Orlando, Tripp is questioned by the sheriff when the friend in Orlando—Rachel Green—explains that Tripp was obsessed with Martina back in college and insists Tripp saw her the night she disappeared. When Martina never turns up, Rachel herself moves to Oakdale. She’s ready to start a new chapter in her life . . . and she wants to observe Tripp up close.
By then Tripp is walking a tightrope. His mother-in-law moves to town after her husband suffers a fatal heart attack, and Tripp is having an affair with another film student when Dana’s mom dies under highly suspicious circumstances. This time the sheriff puts real heat on both Tripp and Dana, but Rachel Green has the strong sense that her old classmate will again get away scot-free. She vows to prove the beloved film professor is a killer. Even if it means putting her own life (and that of her new love, an investigator with the sheriff’s department) in grave danger.