• In Suffolk England during November of 1938, an artist and spinster named Beatrice Pymm is murdered as she walks home after a day of painting by the river.
• She is murdered by a German spy who needs a cover to enter England unnoticed.
• The murderer beats Beatrice's face to make it unrecognizable and buries Beatrice in a shallow grave to facilitate discovery of Beatrice's body.
• Near the grave are scattered identification papers of a young Dutch woman, the cover the murderer used previously.
• The murderer takes the stolen van to a field and burns it, then takes off on a motorcycle.
• The murderer is positive that no one will connect the stolen van and the murder.
• Chapter 2 moves ahead to August of 1939 when the Lauterbach family gathers at their large estate in Oyster Bay, New York.
• During breakfast, the conversation focuses upon Hitler and his intentions in...
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