When Captain Robert Kineally went missing from Haverton American Army base in Devon in 1944, it was generally assumed he had lost his nerve and deserted. But now, twenty years after the War ended, a body found on the near-derelict base seems to tell an entirely different story. DCI Charlie Woodend has strong reasons for not wanting the case. As a sergeant on secondment to the Americans, he served at Haverton himself, left it only a few days before the murder, and he is personally involved. However, he is given the case, and it is soon plain that while the British Government expects one outcome, the American Government will be happy with nothing less than the opposite.