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It is 1937, and Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a highly decorated soldier from the First World War, is the military attache stationed in Warsaw, Poland while the shadow of Hitler’s Nazi regime looms over mainland Europe.
Mercier is grossly suspicious of the German military’s intentions, but he must juggle his formal duties at stifling diplomatic functions with the often death-defying realities of espionage.
With intelligence from his German informant Edvard Uhl, Mercier sets out on a stealth mission with his trusted accomplice Marek, where they discover that the Nazis are ensuring any future invasion of Poland can take place effectively and with little resistance. Mercier almost gets caught and killed during the mission, narrowly escaping, and thereby facing the wrath of French bureaucrat Jourdain, who is anxious to avoid the further heightening of diplomatic tension.
Amid the threat of a second world war, Mercier is also vying for the affections of Parisian lawyer Anna Skarbek, currently in an empty-shell relationship with Russian emigre and political journalist Maxim. As Mercier and Anna’s relationship develops, it is clear that she must choose between both men. But will Mercier’s feelings for Anna jeopardize his mission and can she be trusted?