It is a story about time and memory. The protagonist pieces together meaning from the evidence he encounters over a thirty-year time span: the first-person narrative that moves back and forth between the last years of the Cold War and the present. The novel explores overlapping milieus in Frankfurt whose uneasy coexistence sometimes erupts into violence: competing elements in the German underworld, the personalities and bureaucracies of German policing, American military personnel and military police, German and American academics. The reader shares the immediate experience of the American investigator, a former officer of the American Military Police who was once stationed in Frankfurt. The reader shares his reflections, as well, as the older man’s accumulated experience becomes a lens through which he views his younger self. The dramatic and violent events of the first investigation, interspersed with the calm and reflective atmosphere of the second search, create the novel’s particular rhythm.