The body of this story traces the adventures of Terry Cooper before, during and after WWII. It starts with the private loss he felt as the war came crashing down on his north London neighborhood. It follows his personal growth both as a soldier and a young man rapidly exposed to the world outside the shell of his childhood life. He must tap into his training and street smarts to survive as an undercover agent hiding in Germany before D-Day, and the course of his mission is altered by a bazaar event he could never have imagined or planned for. His exposure to war time life in Germany shifts his narrow opinion of a people under threat.
After his near death experiences desperately trying to get to the safe side of the moving battle lines of 1944, he endures the twisted mind of a war bureaucrat with a uniform and commission. At last he returns to his beloved mother and the unexpected challenge and self discovery while recovering in the west coast of Ireland. Later in his life an unanticipated legacy discovery shocks him, and the words of a stranger from so many years before suddenly become understandable.