Covert attempts by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) to seize from Jud Thorensen the controversial painting that means dire humiliation for Romania have failed. It has disappeared. And the other eight contentious paintings by the same artist, reportedly destroyed thirty years earlier, also elude SRI's grasp. Until fortune strikes in their favor.
After his brother's wedding, Jud leaves the USA for Transylvania to coax his lover, who extended her stay there for supposed professional reasons, to come home-he believes that she's fallen for his suave uncle, a museum curator. SRI top guns are jubilant. Deducing that Jud's goal is to smuggle the subversive paintings out of Romania, they devise a cunning scheme to entrap him. Their ambush falters. But a startling act by the paintings' dying artist shoves Jud into the dark, endless void of SRI's sadistic control.