The unnamed narrator of The Plight House receives a letter: his childhood friend Fiona has committed suicide at the age of thirty-three. As children, he and Fiona had constructed a dark and violent fantasy world, an imaginary network of laboratories where they performed experiments upon their neighbours, families and friends. Now, aware that Fiona had used a document from their shared world as her suicide note, the narrator becomes obsessed with the possibility that he unknowingly held the key to preventing her death.
Invoking the half-forgotten methods of his childhood, he begins to compose a test. Intimate and unrestrained, the test is designed to drive from Fiona all trace of the self-destructive impulse. But by devoting himself to a project that can never bring about its desired effect, the narrator has opened the door to a new frontier of grief. And as he pushes the test yet further into realms of decadence and fever, he precipitates a crisis in his own deeply troubled life.
Part love letter, part elegy, The Plight House chronicles one man's obsessive attempt to resurrect the image of a lost friend.