'Now, when I look at the desert, I am reminded of the year I spent in Egypt - the most definitive of my life ...
Egypt, 1977. Oliver, a geophysicist expert in oil exploration, finds himself unwillingly swept up in a world of political and mystical sabotage after his wife, Isabella, a marine archaeologist, discovers a mysterious ancient artefact, an astrolabe she'd been searching for all her life.
Oliver embarks on a journey that takes him into the secrets of Isabella's once-wealthy Italian-Alexandrian family, and the powers of the astrolabe itself. Powers he, a fierce sceptic, refuses to accept.
Now the reluctant custodian of the astrolabe, and pursued by those keen to use it for their own purposes, Oliver flees back to London where punk is raging, and sex, drugs and rock'n'roll are all around. When his brother overdoses, Oliver is reluctantly forced to test the powers of the astrolabe himself; in doing so he seals a Faustian pact.' (from the publisher's website)