When Maximilian Ophuls is murdered outside his daughter's home by his Kashmiri Muslim driver, it appears to be a political killing. Ophuls is the former U.S. Ambassador to India and America's leading figure in counter-terrorism. But there is much more to Ophuls and his assassin, a mysterious man calling himself "Shalimar the Clown," than meets the eye. One woman is at the center of their shared history--a history of betrayal and deception that moves from World War II Europe to the troubled Kashmir region to contemporary America.