Raymond DuBois is a billionaire with a penchant for great art. Over the years, he's bought a number of old masters through the black market, most of them stolen. But now he's dying, and he wants to return the works to their rightful owners. To do it, though, he needs the help of former assistant Betty Giles, who at one time oversaw his collection; the problem is, she is hiding in Europe because DuBois tried to have her killed a year earlier when he thought she was trying to blackmail him. Because she escaped with the help of private eye Alan Bernhardt, the FBI is squeezing Bernhardt for information on Betty, and DuBois is asking him to contact her on his behalf. Dubois tells Bernhardt he now realizes that it was Betty's recently deceased lover who ran the scam, and that there's a smooth insurance investigator who just wants to buy back the art for his clients. But can Bernhardt trust what he says? Berhardt is the focal point of this sinister human web, but not as a victim or a pawn. He himself is motivated by greed and by revenge: one of DuBois' henchmen tried to kill him when he was working for Betty Giles.