Richard Eusden is on his way to work in London one unremarkable winter morning when he is intercepted by his ex-wife, Gemma. She has sad news of his old friend, Marty Hewitson. Marty is dying, but needs a favour done for him at once. Eusden reluctantly agrees and sets off on what should be a simple errand. But soon it turns into a race for life, his and Marty's, across Belgium, Germany and Denmark and on into the Nordic heart of a mystery that somehow connects Marty's long dead grandfather, Clem Hewitson, an Isle of Wight police officer, with the tragic fate of the Russian Royal Family. Eusden discovers to his dismay that he can trust no-one, not even an old and dying friend, in a battle for survival with those who are determined to steal the secret they believe he and Marty hold and will kill for it if they have to.