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 Fraenkel 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...
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JAN WALLENTIN is a journalist based in Stockholm, Sweden. Strindberg's Star is his first novel.