In the spring of 1945 Benito Mussolini, knowing that the Allied armies were advancing, and sure that his only chance of survival was in Switzerland, headed toward that border with his close associates, his mistress and a cache of treasure estimated at between eighty and one hundred and twenty million dollars in currency, gold, jewels and priceless historical documents. In the northern Italian town of Dongo, he was captured and executed by the partisans. An inventory was made of the treasure, which then mysteriously disappeared. Today, despite the investigations and trials of those involved in its transport, this vast treasure of the Italian people is still missing.
It is against these facts and this setting that A. E. Hotchner's exciting novel is played. Paul Selwyn, an American, becomes involved in an intrigue that takes him from Italy to Paris to London to Stockholm, and fially back to the small town of Dongo on Lake Como, searching for the lost treasure.