A product of an unconventional childhood and unorthodox family, Dathan Charles is ambitious to create a business empire. A concealed mixture of ruthlessness and loyalty, she attracts the unwanted attention of Colonel Heydrich of the SS in Berlin in 1934, and later that year of Gregory Capeto, a notorious gangster from the days of Prohibition. In New York she builds her business against a background of interference from the Justice Department, the Treasury, organised crime and her partners. Returning to Germany to find her friends, she falls foul of the now General Heydrich. Wanted for murder, Dathan makes her escape and realises her uncle, Edward, a diplomat has sold her out. He is just one more of the many lethal adversaries who cross her path, while bearing gifts.