One solitary man at the rudder in a small open boat ploughs through a troubled sea off the Dutch coast. A small open boat ploughs through a troubled sea off the Dutch coast. One solitary man at the rudder. A few days later, when the wind has settled, the smashed up remains of the boat will be found a few kilometres to the south. Meanwhile in Stockholm. David is contacted by his publisher. A manuscript by the famous author Germund Rein has turned up at the publishing house. David has translated the earlier works of Rein and is now given first option to tackle this one. However the manuscript has arrived in Sweden cloaked in strange circumstances. It has not been published in its country of origin. This is the original manuscript and it is accompanied by a letter which states that under no circumstances must the book be printed in its initial language. David also learns that the author Germund Rein has taken his own life by attaching a weight to his body and disappearing into the depths of the Atlantic. The letter must have been the last thing he wrote before he ended it all. The assignment takes David to Amsterdam. He finds parallels to his own life in Rein’s novel. To his vanished wife Ewa, who according to the police most likely lost her life in Graues in the Austrian Alps some years earlier. But nothing is as it seems. The past will inevitably catch up. Guilt mixed with revenge. Germund Rein’s fiction becomes reality. Finally David is forced to confront the uncomfortable truth. Maybe he actually failed to finish off Ewa that day in Graues after all? —D&D Both a story and a story within that story are told. The outer story concerns translator Henry Martens, by appointment, visiting reclusive author Alex Henderson at his isolated seaside home on a remote Greek island, to ask advice about his novel manuscript due to its parallels to one of Henderson’s published works, Henderson agreeing to the request despite his seeming disdain for doing such. The inner story, that of Martens’ novel, is about the disintegrating marriage of David and Eva Schwarz, and David seizing upon a professional opportunity offered to him by recently deceased author Germund Rein to discover unknown issues around his marriage to Eva after the fact. As Martens relays the story to Henderson, the latter becomes more invested in the story and its outcome, arguably as much as Martens is if not more so.