When police discover priceless stolen paintings amongst works of art recovered from the remains of Rollier’s house, Will McIntyre is brought into help the investigation. It quickly becomes apparent that what the burglars were after was something considerably more valuable than what was left behind.
After Rollier is himself murdered, Will and his brother Iain are astounded at an unknown and priceless gold ornament, possibly by the master craftsman Benvenuto Cellini, which is anonymously handed into a Geneva auction house.
As Will and Iain start to piece together the story behind the Cellini ornament, and the person who is determined to get his hands on it, they begin to realise their investigation will have major ramifications on both the Vatican and the Jacobean Stuart dynasty.
The case further intensifies as the head of a small Sicilian mafioso family takes action to ensure the truth concerning the recovered stolen paintings does not see the light of day.