One morning twelve-year-old Fred wakes up with an unaccountable sense of foreboding, which his friend Bul-Boo, one of the twins from next door, insists is just in his imagination. However, the feeling persists - and grows stronger when Fred's terrifying great-granny, Nokokulu, asks him to accompany her on a trip to an ancient burial site known as the Place of Death. Then Bul-Boo overhears her parents talking about patients going missing from her mother's AIDS clinic, and when one of the patients turns out to be Fred's Aunt Kiki, the children suddenly view Nokokulu's trip in a different light.
Could the two events somehow be linked? As the three friends and the old woman journey into the heart of Zambia, each of them hopes to right wrongs, both past and present ... but dark clouds are gathering and ancient magic is in the air.