March, 1943. A month after the stunning defeat at Stalingrad, morale is low, discipline is at risk. Now word reaches Berlin of a Red massacre of Polish officers near Smolensk. If true, the message to the troops is clear: Fight on or risk certain death. For once, the Wehrmacht and Goebbels agree: they want irrefutable evidence of this Russian atrocity, and the investigation must be overseen by a professional. And so Bernie Gunther is dispatched to Smolensk, where truth is as much a victim as those poor dead officers.