Crime-scene photographer Michael Kapinsky is a man whose first life is in a mess. But his second life is about to get a whole lot messier, with dead bodies turning up in both.
Staggering under the financial burden bequeathed him by his recently deceased wife, Michael is also struggling to come to terms with her death, until his psychologist persuades him to enter a virtual world called Second Life to participate in a new kind of group therapy.
Once there, in the persona of his Brad Pitt lookalike, Chas Chesnokov, Michael soon discovers that murder is not just confined to the real world. Victims whose crime scenes he has attended in the wealthy Southern California resort of Newport Beach have had their avatars clinically executed in the virtual world. The game has just turned deadly.
Co-opted into the Twist of Fate Detective Agency, Michael's Second Life alter ego, Chas, embarks on an investigation with exotic dancer and escort girl Doobie Littlething. Together they uncover a series of killings and a financial scam that is netting the murderer millions of dollars - real dollars.
But when Michael is tempted by the money that mysteriously appears in Chas's Second Life account, both his real and his virtual lives are put in danger. And in a thrilling denouement played out in the dark and secret worlds on both sides of the computer screen, one of them will die and a shocking secret will be revealed.