While investigating the disappearance of an apprentice craftsman who had been working on a secret government contract, Maisie discovers links to the London underworld. Spring, 1940. Following Britain's declaration of war on Germany, Maisie Dobbs has been investigating the disappearance of a young apprentice working on a hush-hush government contract. Her investigation leads from the countryside of rural Hampshire to the web of wartime opportunism exploited by one of the London underworld's most powerful men. When a final confrontation approaches, she must acknowledge the potential cost to her future-- and the risk of destroying a dream she wants very much to become reality. Meanwhile, the plight of thousands of soldiers stranded on the beaches of France causes one of Maisie's friends to make a decision that will change his life.