Richard Eusden is a proper civil servant who has been estranged from his best friend Marty Hewitson for some years because of the latter’s drug habit and unreliability. Richard is on his way to work one morning when he gets a call from his ex-wife, Gemma, who has agreed to pick up an attaché case from Marty’s aunt and bring it to him in Denmark. Gemma wants Richard to go in her place. She tells Richard that Marty is dying of cancer.
Richard reluctantly agrees, only to find a stranger at the rendezvous instead of Marty. The stranger says Marty has been kidnapped and tells him his friend will die unless he hands over the case.
Richard chases the case and Marty through Germany, Denmark, and Finland, and ends up discovering a dark sectret that involves the Romanov’s last fortune, the Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the Tsarevich.
The novel has so many briefly drawn characters that I could not keep track of them. I also didn’t really buy that Richard would go through all of this for a man he had already established couldn’t be trusted. But ultimately my judgment is that this is silly stuff.