Lucy Waring, a young actress, is holidaying in Corfu with her sister, who is married to a rich Italian. She meets photographer Godfrey Manning, the famous actor Sir Julian Gale, his aloof son Max, and their friend Maria whose husband is imprisoned in Albania. The idyllic scene is shattered when Maria's teenage son is reported drowned after falling overboard while out at night sailing in Godfrey's boat.
One theme running through the book is the idea that Corfu is the setting for The Tempest. Another theme is that of a dolphin which will approach humans.
Julian Gale and the play Tiger, Tiger (with a different author) are also mentioned in The Wind Off the Small Isles (1968) by the same author.