A deadly dance between two implacable enemies. At her friend Ivy's behest, Lady Emily Ashton reluctantly agrees to attend a house party at the country estate of Lord Fortescue, a man she finds as personally odious as he is politically powerful. But on arrival she finds him to be the least of her problems. Among the guests is Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess who had once been linked romantically with Emily's fiance, Colin Hargreaves, and she makes no secret of that fact, tormenting Emily for her own amusement. Annoying for Emily - but then matters turn deadly serious when Lord Fortescue is found murdered and his protege, Robert Brandon - Ivy's husband - is arrested for the crime. Emily's efforts to clear her friend's name take her to Vienna, a place of glittering balls, sordid back streets, chic cafes. and home to her nemesis, the Countess von Lange.