"The knowledge of everybody’s date of death is a very unsettling concept..."
A mysterious ancient book filled with names and dates turns up at auction in London and sparks a furious bidding war between an American agent and a telephone bidder. The telephone bidder enlists the help of former FBI agent Will Piper to uncover all of the book's secrets and its origins.
The book is a list of dates of birth and dates of death for the year 1527 and is part of a secret collection of books now held at a US naval base in Nevada. The books end on February the 9th 2027 and there is no reason or documentation for this. Does this mean that the savants who originally wrote the books could only see so far or were stopped in their task? Or does it mean that life on earth will cease on that fateful day.
Piper is charged with uncovering the reason the books end on this date whilst uncovering the origins of the books. His quest leads him to investigate the family history of the family who had guarded the book for generations. During his investigation he has to battle against the government keepers of the vast library who want to keep it secret for their own political gain.