Helen Davis is just out of university and trying to find herself. What does she want to do with her life? According to her best friend, Helen has always given herself too much to her boyfriends and been, not a girlfriend, but a mother to them. Se has lived as though she believed her only future was marriage and children. Perhaps even worse, se has always chosen the wrong kind of man, the kind with secrets. Her current boyfriend, Tom, is case in point. He has gone back off to Australia, and hasn't even phoned her.
Out of the blue, she gets a chance to travel as a guide on a bus tour of France, Italy, Greece and Turkey. After consulting an astrologer, she takes the job, although she is not sure that it will be right for her. Se is encouraged, however, by the astrologer's prediction that she will get the chance of a lifetime shortly - perhaps on this tour.
She gradually gets to know the twelve people on the tour. Several of them behave mysteriously, particularly Vic, who is by turns friendly and rude, and Sarah, Who never seems to talk to Vic at all. Another passenger, Mary, seems to be the epitome of the quiet secretary although there is something about her wich Helen occasionally finds strange. A number of incidents occur wich worry Helen. Vic so ends a night away from the tour hotel and lies about what he weas doing one day in Rome. Mary falls into a lake, or was she pushed? Vic asks her to carry a package into Greece but she refuses. What could be in the package?
Helen photographs the tourist in various locations, and catches sigh of strange meetings between Vic and a man with a dark moustache. One of the American tourists, Bill, meanwhile videos everything.
At the end of the tour, she shows her photographs to Mary and bill shows his videos, and something about the film of her fall in the lakes shocks her.
Finally, as they are all at Istanbul airport to catch the flight back to the UK, the truth is revealed. A passport officer realises that Vic's passport is overpowered by armed police after drawing a gun. Sarah, his accomplice, tries to escape but is stopped by Mary, who turns out to be an undercover policewoman from Interpol. She had known Sarah was involved since seeing Sarah on Bill's video clearly pushing her into the lake. Helen has grown un a lot on the tour and become a much more confident person. But she cannot at first decide what to do when, at the very end of the story, she is offered two apparent chances of a lifetime, marriage to Tom in Australia or anothers bus tour to her dream country, Kenya. Then she realises that she can have both if se wants. The real chance of a lifetime is the chance to discover herself.
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