Naples, 1750. In the dead of night, three men with swords burst into the bed chamber of the Marquis de Montferrat. Their leader, Raimundo di Sangro – the Prince of San Severo – accuses him of being an imposter, and demands to know a secret he believes the marquis harbors. The false marquis resists and manages to escape, leaving behind a burning palazzo and a raging prince now obsessed with finding his quarry – and his secret – at any cost.
Baghdad, 2003. An army unit tracking Saddam’s cronies stages a spectacular raid on a fortified villa and makes a horrifying discovery in its basement: a state- of-the-art, concealed lab where dozens—men, women, children—have died, the subjects of gruesome experiments. The mysterious scientist they were after, a man believed to be working on a bioweapon and known only as the hakeem—the doctor—escapes, taking with him the startling truth about his work. In one of his victims’ cells, a puzzling clue is left behind: an Ouroboros – the tail devourer – a circular symbol of a snake that’s feeding on its own tail.