Egypt, 1914. The outbreak of war in Europe casts ripples that can be felt even in Cairo. Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt and Head of the Secret Police, is given the unhappy task of rounding up enemy aliens. And then there's the face in the cemetery. A cat cemetery, at that. Who disturbed the mummified remains by placing a human corpse among them? Owen would prefer to leave these matters in other hands. He has a more pressing concern in the shape of missing rifles (missing? in war time?) and dubious gun-toting ghaffirs. But the face in the cemetery refuses to go away, and Owen comes to realize that the questions it poses are not just professional but uncomfortably personal.