1977, Rome. At the height of vicious attacks by the Red Brigade terrorists, journalist David Rayborne returns to the turbulent world of Italian politics he had known as a student to work on an American newspaper. He goes back to his old apartment, rekindles his affair with the married Stephane and meets Alison King, a photographer famous for her pictures of the aftermath of violence. But David Rayborne has a secret - he is researching and writing a book about the much-feared terrorist organization the Red Brigade. As a result of his secrecy and deception, he unknowingly puts his own and many other lives at risk and soon discovers that even ordinary people have a dangerous side when they are faced with a struggle for personal survival.