A phone call from South America and a one-way ticket to Shanghai form the first threads of the mysterious and magical textile that is being woven around plumber Andrew Mann. Twenty years ago Andy's boyhood companion Clayton Smith broke away from their prosaic existence and became a wildly successful artist in Tokyo. Now Clayton's irresistible invitation to his own funeral in Hong Kong gives Andy one last chance to close the book on their unruly friendship.
Or so he thinks. He soon steps into Clayton's world, a domain of artists, smugglers and seductive strangers, where the rare beauty of priceless ancient textiles is matched by the obsessions of the people who collect them. Andy unwittingly becomes enmeshed in Clayton's search for a stunning Mongol tapestry: a map of the Invisible World. From Hong Kong to Shanghai and into the awe-inspiring vastness of Inner Mongolia, Andy chases the phantasm of his friend's last bequest. As the lines between the material world and the invisible one begin to disappear Andy finds himself on a journey in which the stakes are high and the only thing that sees 20/20 is the imagination.
A brilliant and suspenseful novel that mixes thriller with discourses on rare textiles.