Recently divorced, Anna Coburn decides to cheer herself up by retracing a journey her great-grandmother, Louisa, a renowned artist, made in the mid-nineteenth century - a Nile cruise from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings. Anna carries with her two of Louisa's possessions - an ancient Egyptian scent bottle, and an illustrated diary of the original cruise that has lain unread for a hundred years.
As she follows in Louisa's footsteps, Anna discovers in the diary a wonderful love story from the Victorian past, and the chilling, more distant secret of the little glass bottle. Meanwhile, two men from the tour party are showing a disturbing interest in these mementoes, and developing an unfriendly rivalry for Anna's attention. And, most frightening of all, Anna finds herself the victim of a haunting, a spectral presence that grows in strength and threat as the dramatic stories from three different eras intertwine in a terrifying climax.