The war is over but not forgotten.
The West German economic miracle is under way and American investors are looking for opportunities.
Some opportunities are riskier than others: some companies have skeletons in the cupboard. The war records of many businesses and businessmen are unclear.
When Will Briggs agrees to investigate a South German textile company for an American friend, he half knows how deep and how murky the water might be. But he is intrigued by the challenge, and he could use the money to fund his own historical research.
Travelling first to Switzerland to investigate what he thinks may be tax fraud, he becomes involved with Mechtild, the mercurial wife of the boss, Kaspar Leinberger.
Discovered eavesdropping on a suspicious conversation about Nazi gold, he is pursued to Italy where war crimes replace tax fraud as the focus of his quest, and as Briggs attempts to evade his pursuers and to uncover Kaspar Leinberger's past he unpeels layers of recent, and more remote, history.
Raising eternal questions about historical truth, about witch hunts and about the use of evidence, A Grasp of Kaspar is a gripping and fiercely intelligent thriller which will remind readers of John Buchan, Erskine Childers, and John le Carre .