June 1945. The war is over. Early one morning in the hills of Provence, Pierrot, a fifteen-year-old boy out hunting for snails, stumbles across the dead body of Capitaine Patrocle, a celebrated hero of the Resistance. He has been murdered. In the dead man's wallet Pierrot discovers a letter which he conceals under his beret. Its contents provide the key to the dramatic events that lie at the heart of this haunting and unforgettable story of illicit passions and lead, subsequently, to the boy's association with the tragic and beautiful Madame Henry and to his introduction to the mysteries of love.