Hydrogen: the lightest element, the lifting gas of airships—and highly inflammable.
1982, Lakehurst New Jersey, crash site of the Hindenburg. Alone in a motel room Peter Miller recalls how, as a German ten year old, he stowed away on a Zeppelin that was shot down in a bombing raid on London in 1916. The only survivor, he is raised as an English orphan at a school for destitute boys by the eccentric Dr Hatropp.
As a Fleet Street journalist, dispatched to Berlin in the Golden Twenties, Peter interviews luminaries such as Einstein and Brecht, and is drawn to two women, Frankie, an unconventional reporter from America and Anneliese, a German widow. Invited to cover the the Graf Zeppelin’s luxury passenger flights to Cairo, an accident leaves him convalescing in Egypt. On his return, he finds a different and frightening Germany.
Blown between politics, loyalties and love in the inter-war years, and entangled in the paranormal events, triumphs and disasters of German and British airships of the time, Peter realizes that he overlooked a simple incident that could have grounded and fulfilled his life.
But is it too late?