Two beautiful women have been found strangled in the studio of a well-known London artist. To investigator William Monk and his wife, Hester, the murders are a nightmare. One of the victims is the wife of Hester’s cherished colleague, surgeon Dr. Kristian Beck, a Viennese émigré who becomes the prime suspect.
With an intensity born of desperation, the Monks seek evidence that will save Dr. Beck from the hangman. From London’s sinister slums to the crowded coffeehouses of Vienna, where embers of the revolution still burn in the hearts of freedom-loving men and women, Hester and Monk seek to penetrate not only the mystery of Elissa Beck’s death but the riddle of her life.