The novel starts with Bernard Samson in hiding in Berlin after the events in the first book of the series. He is soon found by the SIS and is invited by Frank Harrington to sit in on a debriefing of an undercover agent, where it is revealed that Eric Stinnes has been smuggiling drugs into East Germany.
Bernard is eventually recalled back to London, and sent on a mission to Vienna to pick up a package from a stamp auction. This is revealed to be a Russian passport, which he uses to meet his wife Fiona, whom it is now revealed is a double agent (It is not made clear for how long Bernard knew this).
Finally, Fiona attempts to escape from East Germany, where upon Eric Stinnes, and Fiona's sister Tessa are both killed. Bernard and Fiona escape back to the otherside of the wall and are transported to America for debriefing.