In this modern-day Greek tragedy, the Fates play havoc with a middle-aged English trio who have planned a restful and much-needed holiday in Greece. Hugh Wilmot, his wife Florence, and her sister Beatrice have secretly loathed one another for years. Confronted with the pressures of new people and new places, their emotions rise to the boiling point under the hot Aegean sun.
As the time ripens for an explosion, the catalyst turns out to be Greece herself, working through film actress Rosamund Oakley, who is inadvertently cast in the role of Aphrodite, Greek goddess of beauty, love, and mischief.
Hugh, having met Rosamund on a sight-seeing excursion, is attracted by her beauty and mystery, which for him match and enhance his exotic new surroundings. But almost immediately a strange series of events leads to three gruesome murders—one in which a moral criminal figures, one in which the intended victim is well and truly skewered, and finally a murder-by-suicide.
Another catalyst, this time in the guise of a folk-singing couple with a clue to the identity of the crazed killer, triggers the shattering resolution to this tale of three travellers who found more hate than love among the ruins of ancient Greece.