At fancy, private Colby University, in the North Carolina hills, a drug overdose puts a senior near death. The school administration calls in the acting sheriff to conduct “a delicate and discrete investigation” – a whitewash. The more he digs, the more evidence he finds that the overdose may have been attempted murder. In flashbacks that parallel his investigation, we see Alicia, a scholarship girl worried about her grades, gradually pulled into the social life of three rich and amoral young women, led by the blond Hadley, a femme fatale. Before the investigation ends, we’ve met boyfriends, a drug dealer, Alicia’s mom, Hadley’s dad, nurses, doctors, and an orderly.