Lance Bradley, idling his life away in Somerset, suddenly receives a call for help from the eccentric sister of his old friend Rupert Alder.
Rupe appears to have vanished without trace. Reluctantly, Lance goes to London where he discovers that Rupe's employers want him tried for fraud.
A Japanese businessman claims he has stolen a document of huge importance. And Rupe has hired a private detective to try and trace an American called Townley, who was involved in a mysterious death thirty years before. No sooner has Lance decided that whatever Rupe was up to is far too risky to get involved in, than he finds that he already is involved. And the only way out is to get in deeper still. Where is Rupe? What is the document he has stolen? Who is Townley? And could the seemingly unexplainable events of the past hold the key to a secret more shocking than Lance Bradley could ever have imagined?