Vienna, 1913. Lysander Rief walks through the city to his first appointment with psychiatrist Dr Bensimon. Sitting in the waiting room he is drawn to a woman with strange hazel eyes and an unusual, intense beauty. Her name is Hettie Bull.
London, 1914. War is imminent, and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander in the most damaging way. Unable to live an ordinary life, he is plunged into the dangerous theatre of wartime intelligence - a world of sex, scandal and spies, where lines of truth and deception blur with every waking day. Lysander must now discover the key to a secret code which is threatening Britain’s safety, and use all his skills to keep the murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his life.