You are eighty-four years old. You are finally savouring the freedom that comes with age. What can anyone do to an old man? And what do you have to fear, other than man's common fate? Unless you are Albert Galan and you are one of those men who has shaped his life rather than simply living it. You have negotiated the years of the last century and you cannot imagine concluding your life ? a life that has been all about decision and determination ? without leaving the world you are a part of something that obsesses you and to which you have never, in all this time, found a solution.
What Albert Galan doesn't know, but is going, reluctantly, to discover, is that his obsession is of interest to certain men in the East, Ukranians and Europeans, who don't want his past to resurface. Ukraine wants to join Europe, the Europeans want the same thing, the Russians are against it. Albert Galan will find himself caught up in the middle of opposing national interests and he will feel the power of sovereign states brought to bear on individual history. There are those who will not hesitate to use force or even to threaten his life. This is how he finds himself badly beaten in hospital where he will meet Rachel, a retired psychoanalyst working for her friend Superintendent Bion. But Albert Galan has built his life alone and he is not a man to confide in others or to let them make decisions for him. He knows his objective, which concerns no-one but him, and nothing is going to stop him. Faced with his refusal to talk, Rachel is troubled, but decides to protect the old man despite himself and to gain his trust.
Strangely, Rachel is affected by this man's quest. The empathy that is a part of her character takes on a more particular, a more personal hue. A notion of humanity, perhaps? Whatever it is, will she be able to help the old man, against his wishes, and, in her turn, foil the state powers so that Albert Galan can finally end his life as he has lived it?