Government minister Patrick Macready has been found dead in his flat. The coroner rules it an accident. Jon Swift is from the old stock of journos – cynical, cantankerous and overweight – and something about his friend's death doesn't seem right. Then, days after Macready's flat is apparently burgled, Swift discovers that his friend had been researching a string of Russian government figures who had met similarly "accidental" fates. When the police refuse to investigate further, Swift gets in touch with his contacts in Moscow, determined to find out if his hunch is correct. He is soon drawn into a violent underworld where whispers of conspiracies, assassinations and double agents start blurring the line between friend and foe.