Martin Brand is a journalist, footloose and fancy free. He travels the world in search of adventure and a story. And then his brother, an archaeologist, and sister in law are killed in a car crash on a lonely Cornish road, and his world is turned upside down, because they had a young son, and the boy needs a father.
Brand takes up where his brother left of, trying to be a father to the lonely boy, and meets the beautiful Penny and her little daughter.
Rummaging around old papers in his brother’s house he comes across photocopies of 16th century documents of a conquistador treasure expedition in the Yucatan. He is interested, but has other priorities and forgets about them.
And then it starts: The house is burgled, there are phone threats, hints of the Mexican treasure, and the man Rankin who says he’s the brother’s friend. Inquiries tell Brand that Rankin is a fraud, a conman as sympathetic and deadly as a hunting cobra.
Brand and Penny take off with the children to hide in the west of Scotland with an old friend from Brand’s past, O’Mara, and after a wild car chase through England they reach haven. But it is not a haven for long.
Rankin and his henchmen find them, kidnap the children one foggy day and start a siege on O’Mara’s house, secure in the knowledge that help is far away from such a lonely place.
Attack and counter-attack ensues, until there is a wild climax like a Norse Saga: night, smoke, flames, death and passions running high.