In 1972, 18-year-old Frederick Boyle arrives by ship in the heat Montevideo, Uruguay. Equipped with a phrase book and a few pesos, he quickly finds himself renamed Ramon Bolio. Uruguay is a country on the brink of dictatorship, and Ramon finds the world around him is changing rapidly. Then one night, he discovers the tango and begins the long process of becoming a Milonguero – a master of the dance.
Looking back years later from a new life in York, Ramon finds himself at the heart of a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a teenage girl. He reflects on the threads that link the past to the present, of how the people and events from his time in Uruguay have shaped his life.