On a winter's night at the height of the Cold War, in a small town on the Baltic coast of East Germany, a young man is dragged from the sea and killed by the regime's secret police. The witnesses are terrorized into silence. But a British woman is present and hears the shot which ends her lover's life.
A decade later, Dieter Krause is an ex-captain in the Stasi's counter-espionage section, a feted guest at the headquarters of British military intelligence. He is a prized asset, able to give a detailed profile of a rising star in the Russian Ministry of Defence. He is confident that the skeletons in his past are hidden.
Then one day, Corporal Tracy Barnes, a clerk, attacks Krause in the officers' mess. For her, the waiting time is over. She was there at the scene of the young man's murder ten years before. She knows Krause is responsible. But to prove it, she must follow Krause to Germany, where, if she fails in her quest for justice, a quiet death will be her only reward.