On a blustery winter night in London, Sophie Akehurst stands behind the counter of the Savoy's Beaufort Bar. An enigmatic Russian-accompanied by a retinue of armed bodyguards-arrives, orders a drink, which he doesn't touch, and leaves behind a crumpled copy of the New York Times. Before Sophie can clear it away, an equally mysterious guest picks up the newspaper and vanishes out of sight. Unaware that she has inadvertently stumbled into a sprawling counter-intelligence operation against the top echelons of the Russian mafia, Sophie becomes a target. Soon she finds herself at the mercy of an elusive baron of the secret arms trade who is about to join the elite circle of men who rule over the world's most potent criminal empire, but he proves himself to be a man of many faces-and just as many secrets.