Daniel Pike is a successful American businessman who likes thing done his way.
Fliss Hurst is a PE teacher who has recently lost her job. She too likes things done her way.
When they have to work together there is bound to be trouble. However, they need each other to solve the mystery of Daniel's grandmother's past. Why are people so determined to keep it secret?
There is also another problem. Living on separate continents, what do they do about the growing attraction between them?
Fliss had rehearsed her speech. "Welcome to Liverpool, Mr. Pike. Smith and Smith will do all in their power to make your stay happy and to help you with your search."
She was rather proud of this greeting. She thought it hit the right spot.
Daniel was not impressed. "Anything in their power? They've had a funny way of showing it so far."
"I'm sure they'll be sorry to hear that."
"I'm sure they will too." Daniel's intonation suggested a different 'sure' to hers. "I'd like to go to my hotel to freshen up and then perhaps we can see Smith and Smith."
"Certainly. You have a suite booked at the ... at the ... it's one of those big American chains. I forget the name but I know where it is."
"The place obviously made a big impression on you."
"I didn't book it. Smith and Smith did. I thought it might be nicer if you went to stay at the Adelphi. It's a big famous old Liverpool hotel."
"In Las Vegas, when a hotel is big and famous and gets more than twenty years old, we knock it down and build one bigger and hopefully more famous."
"Sounds a bit of a waste." Whoops, that was tactless. Fliss tried to retrieve the situation. "I mean, it must be a great city, with everything all new and modern. I've never been there." She remembered belatedly that she was not here to chat about the rival attractions of Las Vegas and Liverpudlian hotels, but to drive Daniel to one of them. So she reached for the soft bag he had dropped by his feet. He smiled as she grasped the bag and tried to lift it. She tried harder. She was an ex-PE teacher, she trained regularly, she was young and fit and strong. She did lift it -- just.
"Heavy?" Daniel asked.
"Not at all. I'll be quite happy when my right arm is six inches longer than my left. What have you got in here?"
"The bag is largely full of films."
"What sort of films?" Fliss had heard stories about films smuggled into the country.
"Natural History films, I make them for television. Won a couple of awards here and there. Once I get this business sorted, I'm going to see an agent in London. Perhaps find a market in British television."
"Shouldn't be a problem. There are wildlife programmes on the telly all the time. Either that or cookery."
He took the bag from her and indicated that she could pull his big wheelie case. She was glad to notice that he too found the bag heavy.
They stepped out of John Lennon airport into a rainstorm. Ha, she'd been right. Fliss leaned the wheelie case against her thigh and wrestled with the umbrella. It wasn't easy to open in the squalling wind.
Daniel pulled up his collar, looked at the sky in distaste. "The temperature was ninety-eight degrees when I left Vegas," he said.
"I don't know how to tell you this, Mr. Pike, but I reckon you're going to have a rotten time in Liverpool. Sorry."