John Motram has the chance of a lifetime. A cell biologist convinced that the Black Death was not caused by bubonic plague but by an unknown virus, he is asked to examine preserved bodies buried under the ancient abbey at Dryburgh. However, Motram's excavations end up in disaster when he first becomes violent and then dangerously ill after entering the secret tomb. As he hovers on the edge of life, and journalists and government authorities, each with their own agenda, begin to circle, Dr Steven Dunbar begins his investigation. Has Motram just been unlucky, or has a killer virus risen from the dead?