An eminent Oxford professor is murdered?but the authorities are calling it a suicide. Beautiful young don Catherine Donovan refuses to believe the official verdict, especially after she receives a cryptic note sent just before the professor's death, along with a collection of priceless antique maps. Teaming up with classicist James Rutherford, she embarks on a journey which takes them from the dreaming spires of Oxford to the ancient wonders of Peru and Egypt. With a deeply sinister organization determined to stop them, can Catherine and James unlock the mystery of the ancients before they become the killers' next victims? And can it really be possible that these clues are warning of an imminent cataclysm?one that puts even more than their lives in peril?