Burning Secret, set in the Austrian highlands at a high-class resort, takes place just a few years after the First World War. Sonya Tuchman (Faye Dunaway), wife of an American diplomat, arrives at the resort with her son Edmund (David Eberts) to give him an opportunity to recuperate from his sickly condition. The beautiful Sonya is withdrawn and sullen and the 12-year-old Edmund quickly becomes enraptured by another visitor to the spa, the flamboyant Baron Alexander von Hauenstein (Klaus Maria Brandauer). The Baron delights the asthmatic boy with war stories. As their relationship progresses, the Baron and Edmund explore the surrounding woods and continue to bond. However, for all the Baron's outward appearances, he is truly melancholic and depressed. He finds kinship with Sonya who also suffers from depression resulting from her passionless marriage. As the Baron and Sonya grow closer, the boy grows jealous until he can stand the affair no longer and resorts to drastic measures.