Anna Norum is in her early forties, and she's come a long way as a professor of Marine Biology at the University of Gotland. She'll be going on an EU-funded trip to the Indian Ocean on a research vessel to watch blue whales; eight students will be given a unique opportunity to join her, and these places are hotly contested. One morning, her keenest student – Peter Holmgren – is found dead. He'd unexpectedly failed the test; he felt unfairly treated, as Albin Sundergart – a far weaker student – had been granted a place on the trip. Was it murder or suicide?
Shortly after that, the professor arrives at hospital with serious injuries, and claims to have been hit by a car. However, pathologist Ewa confirms the resident physician's findings that Professor Norum has in fact been a victim of assault. Commissioner Anders wants to avoid any risks, and puts her under police protection.