The sun-drenched landscape of the south of France is the setting of this tale of crime, pursuit, and punishment. Here, almost fifty years before, Pierre Brossard, empowered by the World War II Vichy government, massacred fourteen Jews in the town of Dombey. Since the Allied victory he has been a man on the run, condemned in absentia to death, but protected by friends in the highest offices of the French government and the Church. He has become an artist of escape, moving like a fox through the underground maze of monasteries and safe houses, able to turn the tables on those who would deliver a death sentence on him, and to secure fresh sanctuary from those whose ties with him remain as strong and sacred as they are secret. Now, however, time is running out. The chess match against capture that Pierre Brossard has played so skillfully and so long has reached its endgame.