London, 1932. Jessica Kenton, twenty-seven, thinks she has her life firmly under control, but it is torn apart when she learns that her brother, Timothy, a renowned young Egyptologist with the British Museum, has inexplicably vanished. Twenty years earlier, during a night that still haunts her, Jessie’s adored brother Georgie also disappeared. Driven by her childhood guilt at never having found him, she sets off on a quest to track down her second missing sibling. She is helped in her search by clues left in mysterious places—clues based on the beloved stories of Sherlock Holmes, whose novels she shared with both of her lost brothers when they were young. And the clues convince her, in the face of evidence to the contrary, that Tim must still be alive.
Desperate to solve the mystery of his disappearance, she decides to travel to Egypt, accompanied by a dashing, if impoverished, aristocrat. But in this strange and alien place of dust and desert, Jessie also falls helplessly, deeply in love—and as her defenses are stripped away, she is forced to face the demons that drive her.