Television journalist, Ava Barby's news scripts write themselves: Add X and Y, and any Z can be predicted. But while covering Egypt in 1983 during khamsin, the country's 50-day annual windstorm, her formula for predicting events fails. Reporting the discovery of a tomb, she is astounded that its pharaoh left this life without any treasure for the next. The desert yields her next surprise: A reclining megalith and its stone-faced guardian, half-seen through swirling sand. Epic unrest overtakes Egypt as khamsin continues, and Ava's astonishment grows apace with the upheaval. The murder, spying and mayhem that were just words in her news scripts become part of her life . . . and the turmoil masks a plot that changes Egypt's destiny as relentlessly as it changes Ava's.