Canberra, November 1975.
Gough Whitlam's Labor government is in crisis. Denied supply by a hostile Senate, distracted by the desperate moves of his wayward cabinet, Whitlam is seemingly confident of prevailing and oblivious to an opposition led plot to overthrow his government.
At the other end of town, Barry Flynn, an ex-cop turned private investigator, is caught up in his own struggle for survival. In a sleepy place like Canberra, there's hardly enough divorce and missing person work to cover the rent.
When hired by a wealthy socialite called Cynthia Harrington to tail her straying husband, Daniel, a prominent QC and law college lecturer, Flynn imagines that a big payday has finally arrived.
But nothing about this case is what it seems. Is Cynthia wanting to save her marriage, or is she laying plans for a divorce? Everything about the couple's personal, financial and political affairs is a mystery. Soon after Flynn has taken the case, the husband vanishes. The supposed mistress turns out to be the wrong woman. And Flynn begins to suspect that Cynthia has darker and deadlier motives for wanting her husband followed. Although he finds himself increasingly attracted to her, what percentage is there in working for a woman he no longer trusts?
The further Flynn goes with the investigation, the more he realizes there is a connection between the mysterious fate of Daniel Harrington and the catastrophe awaiting Whitlam. After being roughed up by some over zealous Federal policemen, Flynn learns that his every move is being tracked. And when Flynn's assistant, Billy, is found dead in Lake Burley Griffin, and the police have no interest in investigating the crime, he realizes he's stumbled onto something sinister.
What Flynn has uncovered is a plot to finish off Whitlam, and he soon learns that the perpetrators will stop at nothing to keep it concealed.