Laura Chance, wife of Borford's prospective Lord Mayor, becomes infatuated with her young hairdresser, Pierre, who resembles her dead son. Pierre is utterly selfish, unscrupulous and sees in the wealthy, middle-aged woman a dupe who can give him some of the material possessions he covets.
Despite her innate intelligence, Laura deceives herself that their relationship has a basis of real affection. But the trouble really starts when James Chance discovers what is happening and determines to ruin Pierre by using his influence in the city. Pierre, in his turn, plans a violent revenge . . .