Forensic psychiatrist Dr James Carter meets a woman on a train, apparently randomly, and she appears to offer him an alternative to a rather dull life. The alternative leads to two dead women, one in Baltimore, the other in his flat in Bath, and forces him into a surreal search for justice as he becomes a fugitive and a prime suspect for both murders - a situation for which he is totally unprepared.
There seems nothing in Carter's past to commend him for dealing with this situation except his natural charm. He is unfit, middle-aged and totally out of his usual environment, but he is capable of using his charm to extricate himself from seemingly impossible situations.
Carter finds himself involved in a world of blackmail, theft, gun running and intrigue involving people in high office. There seems to be nobody he can trust until by chance friends he had thought unremarkable come to his aid and provide the answers he needs to solve the crimes and establish his innocence. As a result, an unforeseen outcome changes Carter's life entirely.