Lotty Herschel, V I Warshawski's long-time friend and mentor, has turned her back on a painful past in which, as a child, she fled Vienna for London in the days before World War II. Now, in Chicago, a man named Paul Radbuka comes forward. Claiming to have recovered memories of his childhood in a deathcamp, Radbuka tries to insert himself into Lotty's life. As a frightened V I watches her friend unravel, she tries to help in the only way she can : by investigating Radbuka's history. Struggling to decide whose memories of a terrible war she can trust, V I gets caught in a network of international crime that stretches from Switzerland and Germany to Chicago's South Side. With the atrocities of the past reaching out to engulf the living, V I moves closer to a chilling realization of the truth - a truth that almost destroys her oldest friend.