In post-revolution Paris, an old man signs a letter in blood, then hides it in a secret compartment in a sailor's chest. A messenger arrives to transport the chest and its hidden contents, but then the plague strikes and an untimely death changes history. Two hundred years later, Hugo Marston is safeguarding an unpredictable but popular senator who is in Paris negotiating a France/US dispute. The talks, held at a country chateau, collapse when the senator accuses someone of breaking into his room.
Max - an elderly Paris bookstall owner - is abducted at gunpoint. His friend Hugo Marston, head of security at the U.S. embassy, launches a search. His investigation reveals that Max was a Holocaust survivor and later became a Nazi hunter. Is his disappearance somehow tied to his grim history, or even to the mysterious old books he sold? Before long, other booksellers start to disappear, their bodies found floating in the Seine. Then Marston himself becomes a target of the unknown assassins.
"The summary is a spoiler that muddles"
It's summer in Paris, and two tourists have been murdered in Père Lachaise cemetery in front of Jim Morrison's grave. The cemetery is locked down and put under surveillance, but the killer returns, flitting in and out like a ghost, and breaks into the crypt of a long-dead Moulin Rouge dancer. In a bizarre twist, he disappears under the cover of night with part of her skeleton.