Mild-Mannered forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver knows bones. That's why the Chief Inspector of the small French village of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac calls upon him when a local dog emerges from a nearby cave carrying parts of a not-all-that-long-ago-interred human skeleton. Les Eyzies is the home of the prestigious Institut de Prehistoire, where eminent scientists study and squabble . . . and perhaps, on occasion, commit murder. Gideon's search for answers leads him quickly into the darkest corners of the scientific community, and sets him on a shocking trail of death, greed, and deception nearly forty thousand years in the making.