Vienna, 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor in town seeking psychotherapy for a troubling ailment, becomes caught up in a feverish affair with a beautiful, enigmatic woman. When she presses rape charges, however, he is mystified. Only a carefully plotted escape - with the help of two mysterious British diplomats - saves him from trial. The frenzied getaway sets off a chain of events that dismantles Rief 's life. He returns to London, hoping to banish from memory his traumatic ordeals abroad, but soon the men who helped coordinate his escape recruit him to carry out the murder of a complete stranger. His lover from Vienna arrives nonchalantly at a party, ready to resume their liaison, and before he can stop to consider where these events are leading, Rief finds himself on the trail of a traitor - a man whose bizarre connection to his own family proves a cruel twist of fate.
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