Set in Ticino and Lugano, on the Italian border of Switzerland, this tells of Marika Mamert and the cat and mouse intrigue which her ex-husband, the powerful Karel abor in power with the Communists in Czechoslovakia, weaves around her. For she and their son Jan have been granted exile but Kobor, wanting Jan back, is determined to hound Marika into giving him up. Brooks Ryland, dedicated to history, is unwillingly helpful to Marika, falls in love with her without believing her fears are real. By the time he has learned how deadly serious Kobor and his new ally, Schmidt, are, Jan has vanished and Brooks is the new pawn in the game. His search lends U. S. Intelligence to unearth the threat of a new group readying to wreck Allied plans for Germany and a United Europe and Marika's decision to sacrifice Jan to save others at home saves Brooks -- and her child. The smooth Albrand touches for contemporary romantic melodrama.