Sara Wolfe is about to fall backwards. The thick walls that separate the past from the present are crumbling, but she doesn't know it yet. She's just working at the museum, retouching yet another canvas, trying not to go out of her mind with boredom. Putting down her brush - just a short break, she thinks - she heads to the gallery to take another look at that new drawing, the one she can't stop thinking about, the one of the Hindu god Shiva, who dances... That's when it all begins. The next day, an E-mail message brings her a job offer; to find the few remaining pieces of a fifteenth-century adventurer's renowned collection of Indian sculptures. Her employer, curiously, wishes to communicate only by computer. She has no idea who he is or why he wants her, but other mysteries soon preoccupy her, such as the meaning of an enigmatic illuminated manuscript - and the sensual transformation that seems to be overtaking her.