The writer, collector and professional prisoner Tulse Luper continues his adventures as professional prisoner during the years of the Second World War. First, on the paradise island of Sark enjoying self-imposed imprisonment until he is betrayed to the Germans by a jealous trio of sisters. Then in Barcelona where he is pursued by a bounty-hunting jailer to protect and support the lesbian marriage of his jailers' one-time wife and mistresses. Then to Turin where he is forcibly persuaded to become lift boy in the Mole Antonelliana observing the secrets of the Italians beleaguered by the fascist regime, then to Venice where he murders one jailer and is propositioned by another. Then to Rome as the Americans march in where he accepts the overtures of his jailer who is dying of uranium poisoning.