It is 1973 and Peter Wilson, a young reporter working in Oxford, is in hospital recovering from a car accident. During his stay, he becomes friendly with a young Persian nurse, who tells him a mysterious story, casting doubt upon the true parentage of the child of a wealthy young couple.
Forty years later, whilst attending a dinner party in Hampstead, Wilson unexpectedly comes across a photograph of the nurse. Remembering the story she told him in Oxford, he decides to investigate along with his old friend Mathew Phillips-Lehman.
A sometimes tragic story unfolds involving a Tory grandee, his elegant wife and a beautiful Swedish accountant. The action switches between London, Oxford and Italy, climaxing in a dramatic race against time to avoid further tragedy. The first book, in a series of Wilson and Phillips-Lehman mysteries.