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During the Brazilian dictatorship in the seventies, Robert, a British executive, lives and works in Brazil. Brought up in rough industrial England, he achieved what he wanted by fists and daring and survived years of night school to become an engineer. His wife has taken their children back to England, but he prefers Brazilian life and speaks Portuguese. But his social life is uneven. Unlucky in his relations with women, he is befriended by a disaffected army officer who later deserts to a guerrilla group, compromising Robert. He abhors the way men treat women and the way corruption is not punished. His company is failing. A Brazilian called Falcone is hired, claiming access to high government officers, but he is a fraud with criminal associates. Eventually Robert discovers and denounces Falcone who disappears but sends men to kill Robert, who himself has to flee Brazil along clandestine guerrilla safe houses.