Brilliant civil engineer, Rainer Kelf, has to fight for the survival of the company he has taken a lifetime to create. Facing him is the self-made tycoon, the massively wealthy Sir Henry Lloyd Morgan, who cajoles Kelf into a disastrous merger between their two companies, and then out of nothing but greed, sets out to steal Kelf’s life work with every dirty trick he can think of.
Complicating things for Kelf is the capriciousness of the City of London, with their wafer-thin loyalties for the builder. Kelf fails to see beyond their immaculate suits, impeccable accents and membership of the so-called Old Boys’ Club. Kelf cannot accept that he is seen as an outsider and this naiveté almost costs him everything.
Adding to his dilemma is the rise of the New Hard Left among trade unionists. Desperate to prove they still have the ability to bring havoc to industry, they seek out a new target and it is Kelf’s bad luck that they chose his company to test their new militancy. And when they link up with the arch-capitalist, Sir Henry Lloyd Morgan in an alliance dreamed up in hell, things get even worse for Kelf.
When he needed it, Kelf has always been able to depend on the support of the Court of Ten, the most powerful group in Britain who between them control much of British business. But when the boardroom battle between Kelf and Lloyd Morgan becomes public, they fall for the dubious promises of Sir Henry and abandon Kelf to the wolves.
Kelf’s only chance of survival comes from the mysterious Butterfield Institute, who quietly monitors the activities of union militants, and the secrets hidden in their files. Will they be able to key information to him in time?