In this intelligent international thriller, Robert Wilson paints two parallel portraits: an historical psychological tale of suspense, and a contemporary murder mystery. Though separated by time, both tales inexorably and brilliantly come together. The first takes place during World War II, where Klaus Felsen, a prominent Berlin factory owner, is recruited by the SS to procure wolfram, an alloy vital to Hitler's blitzkreig. Felsen, a smart but ultimately selfish man, is highly successful in his dealmaking, albeit always at the expense of others. Greed, murder, and lust entwine to destroy not only his own, but numerous lives.
The second and parallel story is the present-day murder investigation of a troubled, promiscuous young girl found dead in Lisbon. The tenacious and highly ethical Inspector Ze Coelho, with the help of Carlos, a young detective assigned to the case, discovers a dysfunctional family driven by revenge and scandal, empowered by lies. Despite numerous plots twists and turns, the Inspector-ever in search of the truth-finds the murderer, but also unexpectedly unearths long-forgotten crimes. It's this "small death in Lisbon" that links the tragic past of Nazi Germany and fascist Portugal to the present, where it becomes clear that the sins of the father do rain down on future generations.
Wilson's page-turning story of political intrigue is unpredictable and highly original. In the tradition of John Le Carré and Martin Cruz Smith, Wilson's first novel to be published in the U.S. marks the debut of a deft storytelling talent.