Lucy Trent is used to having the legend of her disreputable grandmother disinterred from time to time - the infamous silent-screen actress Lucretia von Wolff, whose lovers were legion, whose scandals were numerous, whose life ended abruptly in a bizarre double murder and suicide at the Ashwood film studios in 1952. Lucy rather enjoys Lucretia's legend - although most of the family would prefer it to be quietly forgotten. But when a body is found in the now-derelict studios, brutalised in a macabre echo of the 50-year-old case, disturbing facts about the past begin to emerge... Facts which point back to the eerie legend of the child known simply as Alraune. The child named after Lucretia's most famous film. The child who may never have existed at all. In the ensuing murder investigation, Lucy is to discover the truth about her family's dark and often poignant history - a history which spans the glittering concert halls of 1920s Vienna to the bleak environs of wartime Auschwitz. And at the heart of it all lies the shocking truth about the mysterious child called Alraune.