Richie Hunter is an American who lives in Istanbul. He meets a stranger, Haldun, who gives him a note with directions. These lead him to visit an aristocrat called Lamia living in a small palace on the Bosphorus. And Richie finds himself caught up in the intrigues of Lamia's household. Lamia's son has died, but Richie has an encounter with the son in a dark passage, and the story unfolds.