1944, and a Lend-Lease B-25 with its Soviet aircrew falls from the sky above Timişoara, Romania. Andrei Bălcescu, while camping out that night on his father’s smallholding, finds a battered folder amidst the plane’s wreckage.
Fifty years later, Andrei’s adopted son, Lucian, rediscovers the folder and its eight pages of encrypted material in a garden shed. He visits a childhood friend, who makes a start on cracking the code. Barely a week later, Lucian suspects he is being followed by persons unknown.
Present day, and Lucian’s daughter, Shani Bălcescu, a promising Oxford academic, continues to search for information on her family. When she receives a text from an individual claiming to have known her parents, curiosity takes her to Timişoara, where she soon regrets her impulsive nature. Witness to the aftermath of a vicious murder, and hearing that both Oxford and her home city of Prague have been “visited,” Shani knows that to leave Romania would prove fatal without first piecing together her father’s movements days before she was born.