War and its aftermath change the lives of everyone they touch. In 1946 the Japanese War Crime Trials begin in Tokyo, where General MacArthur is initiating his grand strategy for converting Japan to a democracy and a bastion against Asian communism. Bill Liston, an Australian law lecturer conscripted to assist in the prosecutions, is embroiled in the dubious legal manoeuverings and questionable summary justice. His fiancée Irene White remains in Brisbane. Both are brought into contact with survivors of the war years – an exotic Dutch commando, a martinet Land Army Officer, teenage prisoners of war rescued from the sinking of HMAS Perth, military and legal careerists, and shattered Japanese civilians. Amongst all of this, Bill and Irene struggle to resolve their relationship and their future.