Gideon Oliver, professor of anthropology and specialist in the study of skeletons (The Dark Place, etc.), is asked by old friend and mentor Dr. Abe Goldstein to return to a reactivated dig at Tlaloc in the Yucatan. Five years ago it was shut down after an ancient Mayan codex found there was stolen by site director Howard Bennett--who'd sent a letter confessing all and promptly vanished. Gideon, arriving at Tlaloc with wife Julie, Finds all the old crew there--ever-cheerful land-developer Leo Rose; Gideon's one. time student Harvey Feiffer; prissy writer of children's books Worthy Partridge; health-food entrepreneurs Preston and Emma Byers, with Emma now into crystals and New Age spiritualism--amateurs all. A new arrival is Stan Ard, a tabloid reporter writing about the most recent find--a document just translated as a series of grisly curses on anyone disturbing the dead. Meanwhile, a threatening note to Gideon followed by a murderous attack and a series of other nasty incidents set the camp on edge, as workers dig through the old cave-in of a secret passage in the pyramid where the codex was found. Gideon makes a startling discovering there, but even more confounding is the murder of Stan Ard soon after. There's a second, near-fatal attack on his own life before Gideon makes the crucial connection in a far-fetched plot that's heavy on detail, short on drive. Fun for anatomy students and archaeology buffs. For others, a bit of a slog.