Ray Santiago's friends from work know him as a brilliant-but-easygoing systems engineer who spends a lot of time on his favorite online role-playing game. But the game is over for Ray: his colleagues from work, Maude, Tim, and Turing, have just found out about Ray's murder in a dark alley. He was shot, and his laptop stolen. It could be just another D.C. street crime. But if Turing's password was in that computer - and it's fallen into the wrong hands - she could be in terrible danger. With Turing's Web-searching powers and Maude's and Tim's access to the outdoors, the trio starts looking into Ray's death, tracing their colleague's life from that fatal night, backspace by backspace. But this project leads to more questions than answers - because Ray seems to have fabricated his life story, even his name. And now their quest is growing even more crucial. For as they sort their way through Ray Santiago's various personas, online and off, danger lurks in the lab - perhaps within the very computer in which Turing lives.