Joe Sandilands has been despatched to France to stay as the guest of a glamorous French war-widow on her Champagne estate.
The widow is determined that Joe should support her claim that a mysterious shell-shocked soldier, suffering from amnesia and a loss of speech is her husband. The problem is that four other claimants have identified him differently, and his doctor suspects he is an English soldier.
Joe decides to investigate the four claimants and picks his way through a tangle of lies, deceit, and manipulation, discovering that each of the four has an undeclared motive for claiming the unknown soldier. He uncovers a cleverly concealed murder committed during the war years and during this pursuit he finds out who the soldier really is.
The discovery presents him with an even greater dilemma, he must not only to solve a killing in the past, but avert a tragedy in the future.