On 20th July, l944, Adolf Hitler escaped death by a miracle in a failed bomb. He found the main conspirators, had them hung from meathooks and their executions filmed. Axel, Count von Gottberg, is one of those hanged by Hitler. Sixty years after his death, his old friend Elya Mendel leaves a legacy of papers and letters to former student Conrad Senior. And, with the legacy comes a mysterious duty. Drawn into a web of jealousy, betrayal, passion and terrible misunderstandings, Conrad's own life and marriage begin to suffer as a result of his obsession with the events of that momentous day in 1944. "The Song Before It Is Sung" recreates the events of one fateful day which could have changed the world and ended the war, bringing Von Gottberg and Mendel vividly and brilliantly to life. Cartwright weaves an extraordinary story of human frailty, degradation and nobility, spanning Oxford in the nineteen thirties, pre-war Prussia and contemporary Britain.