THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLERChina, 1895In the shifting sands of the Taklimakan Desert, a new Pompeii has come to light and, with it, two remarkable artefacts - a metal ankh and star, covered in strange inscriptions. The Arctic, 1897 A hydrogen balloon is readied for a polar voyage. Publicly, it is a patriotic attempt to put Sweden in the lead of the race to the North Pole. Privately, the three men on board are committed to another, much more dangerous mission... Sweden, 2011 260 meters under the earth, in a long-flooded mineshaft, a diver's torchbeam plays over a corpse with a fist-sized hole in its forehead. Skeletal fingers clutch a metal amulet. It is the key to the annals of a secret history so deeply buried that the few who knew of it thought it lost forever. Until now...