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In the great disorder of wartime Berlin, Lucia Muller-Rossi was an unofficial star: mistress to an Ambassador, the whole world to her young son, and guardian of all the lovely things her Jewish friends were forced to leave behind as they took the trains to the death camps. Sixty years later, one of those fine pieces sits for sale in the window of Lucia's antiques shop, and its true owner happens to pass by. In that moment, a whole lifetime of silence cracks open and Lucia's family face the wrenching duty of examining a past almost too horrifying to remember.
Martin Arkenhout, a seventeen-year-old Dutchman travelling across the States, kills his young American travelling companion, Seth Goodman, and adopts his identity. Some months later he takes - and takes on - other lives, adopting another passport, set of credit cards and identity. A decade and many lives later, now back in the Netherlands, he kills and becomes a young British art historian, Christopher Hart, and follows his plans to go to Portugal. But Christopher is being followed from London by Costas, another art historian, investigating the disappearance of a series of valuable prints from a priceless book, and before he leaves the Netherlands, Martin runs into his own mother on a tram. In the confusion of the moment he identifies himself as Hart, and for the first time Martin's series of seamless killings and identities runs into trouble.
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