It is 1914, on the eve of the Great War, and young 19-year-old Abraham Helmsworth, the only son of a royal British family, is about to embark on what he believes to be a noble adventure. He has enlisted in the army as a commissioned officer and is soon to sail for France with his troops. He has also become engaged to the lovely Agatha Fenton, his childhood sweetheart, who has promised to wait for his return to marry.
Then, a few days before shipping out, Abraham attends a theatrical performance and meets Lucilla Deauville, a stunning beauty who instantly mesmerizes him. He has never been so attracted to a woman in such a visceral way. Weeks later, he encounters her again, but this time on a bloody battlefield. With this encounter, he learns the dark secret she hides in the shadow of her smile. It is a secret that will lead him through the gates of a living hell from which there is no escape.