The setting is New York City in 1963 where the protagonist, Victor Mancuso, is a prominent lawyer. His good friend and client, Alex Reinmann has been kidnapped in Italy. In Rome, during the Nazi occupation in June of 1944, the kidnappers served as freedom fighters with Alex, who had been a secret operative with the OSS, a United States intelligence agency. On the day of Rome's liberation, Alex confiscated from the fleeing fascists a supply of diamonds and other jewels, and buried them in the countryside outside of Rome. He reported this incident to his fellow partisans who would become his kidnappers years later. The kidnappers believed that Alex could lead them to the buried fortune. But after questioning Alex at length about the location of the fortune, the kidnappers finally decided he truthfully did t kw its whereabouts. Fearing prosecution for kidnapping if they released Alex, they decided to kill him. The plot was foiled when Alex was rescued by a combination of the Italian Military PoliceCthe Carabinieri, headed by the beautiful Sergeant Regina GraziellaCand a group of American private detectives led by Victor. After the rescue, a congressional committee in the United States, as well as certain indignant members of the Carabinieri, alleged that Alex was lying under oath when he denied ever recovering the jewels. A resulting indictment of Alex for perjury took place in New York. Victor volunteered to represent Alex at trial to clear the name of his client and close friend.