With a startling sense of immediacy, this tense and gripping novel whirls the reader into the vortex of up-to-date life in cosmopolitan Europe. It is a tale of personal flight. Franziska, a beautiful German woman, impulsively escapes from an unpleasant marriage and takes a train to Venice. There, in the bleak wintertime atmosphere of this fabulous city, she is unwittingly drawn into the cross-currents of a dangerous struggle whose source lies in the turbulence of war and international intrigue ... Suspense, murder, and unexpected fulfillment mark the climax of this powerful and compelling story. In skillfully unfolding the fates of his characters caught in the complexities of their age, Alfred Andersch eloquently records a pattern of life in Europe today.