Sometime in the aftermath of World War 2, Helena is going to Istanbul to stay with her uncle and to join her British diplomat fiancée Thomas. A series of seven letters exposes a story of family intrigue, complex relationships, underhand activities and the mystery of Rupert Augustinian and his blind spouse Maria. Helena’s uncle, Roger Atherton’s past is revealed as each letter explores different perspectives. First Helena’s mother sets the scene, introducing some characters while hinting at the existence of a mystery persona. She portrays Atherton as perhaps not the generous and caring individual he may appear. Helena writes to her mother in some confusion. Who is she meeting? What is she experiencing? A large portrait of a Spanish dancer displayed behind Atherton’s desk bears an uncanny resemblance to Maria. Helena, deeply in love, is mystified by events, which intensify with the loss of a diplomatic bag, the mugging of her fiancée, and the involvement of Winton, a senior diplomat. Atherton’s driver, Osman, seems protective of Helena and his relationship with his employer is learned to be confused as the links between Atherton, Augustinian, Maria and Helena’s mother are exposed. Maria’s letter is emotional, detailing her pain as she remembers past loves. A book of the poems of Pierre Loti arouses emotions: love between Thomas and Helena, disquiet on the part of Maria and anger in Atherton. Atherton’s letter reveals a jealous man unable to forgive his lost love. The penultimate letter, from chauffer Osman, reveals the final scenes where Atherton’s murderous intent is foiled. By way of postscript Wilton writes to Helena’s mother absolving her from any perceived wrongs and anticipating the future for Helena and Thomas.