Berta Isla and Tomás Nevinson meet in Madrid. Young and in love, they quickly decide to spend their lives together – never suspecting that they will grow to be total strangers, both living under the shadow of disappearances. Tomás, half-Spanish and half-English, has an extraordinary gift for languages and accents. Leaving Berta to study at Oxford, he catches the interest of a certain government agency, and its mysterious agent, Bertram Tupra. But Tomás resists the call of fate – until one foolish day he makes an avoidable mistake – setting in motion events that will affect the rest of his life, and that of his beloved Berta. Finishing his time at Oxford, he returns to Madrid to marry her, already knowing that the life they planned has been lost forever.