by : Jan Wallentin
Taklamakan desert, 1895: a new Pompeii has come to light, and with it two remarkable artefacts, found in a hidden burial chamber. A metal ankh and star - covered in strange inscriptions, feather-light and cool to the touch. Svalbard, 1897: on the skerried islands of Svalbard, 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 have another objective. But S. A Andree, Knut Frankel and Nils Strindberg will never be seen alive again. Falun, Sweden, 2011: 260 meters under the earth, in a long-flooded mineshaft, a diver's torchbeam plays over a mouldering 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 though it lost forever. Until now...