Steven Carter’s father, Don, is dying in New York, and they’ve barely spoken in two years. He rushes home at his mother’s behest and is informed of a memoir written by his father. Although Steven has thought his father was a bit crazy sometimes, his mother, Diane, tells him a different story—one that takes place in Peru, in 1985, when Don discovers a golden cylinder following a mountain-shattering earthquake.
The cylinder is approximately twelve inches long and six inches in diameter—so small for something that would change the lives of Don and his wife and destroy so many others. Even in 1985, Don knows the cylinder is important and may hold powerful secrets; yet the secrets remained locked inside.
The find quickly becomes something hunted by a variety of crooks and government officials, the subject of a bidding war between the United States and the Soviet Union, the two superpowers of 1985. Although thwarted by thugs, the CIA, the KGB, and the Peruvian government, Don and his mentor, Dr. Anton Steinert, manage to retrieve the cylinder—which is when Steven’s mother gets involved. In the present day, the truth is revealed in the words of a dying man—but whatever became of mysterious golden cylinder?