For 35 years George Halkin had been responsible for solving other people's problems. Now, having recently retired, he comes face to face with challenges of his own. When his eldest son, Simon, and beautiful South American girlfriend Maria are taken hostage by two aging drug barons whilst on a backpacking holiday in Colombia, he is forced to enter the manipulative world of the politician as well as the secretive existence of the mercenary soldier. As he battles to overcome his ever-increasing feelings of inadequacy, he decides to take matters into his own hands. On the other side of the world the relationship of the two young hostages grows ever stronger as they too endeavour to survive, amidst appalling conditions. The story switches from Hartlepool, a small town on the North East Coast of Britain to Ibarra in Northern Ecuador, as two families, united by the youngsters' disappearance, strive to free them. From Washington DC to Bogota, the law enforcement agencies of both America and Colombia play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with people's lives, in a bid to bring down the largest drug cartel in Latin America.