Max Stafford is a security consultant with a thriving business in the City and no immediate urge to go haring off to Africa.

Paul Billson is an office nobody who is being paid far more than he’s worth for doing not very much at all. Why? Is the key the fact that he is the son of Peter Billson, a fugitive aviator presumed killed in an air-crash many years before?

When asked to find out by Alix Aarvik, the man’s sister, Stafford is beaten-up for his trouble.

And when Paul Billson disappears they wonder if he gone in search of the never-found wreck of his fathers plane, lost in the harsh landscape of central Africa? Max Stafford decides to find out.