On July 21, 1969 two astronauts set foot on the moon; far below, in ravaged Mozambique, a young revolutionary - hailed as the saviour of his country - is murdered by a package bomb. From these two unconnected events, Simon Ings weaves a great and glittering web that entangles four lives: Anthony Burden, a mathematical genius destroyed by the beauty of numbers; Saul Cogan, transformed from prankster idealist to trafficker in the poor and dispossessed; and Stacey Chavez, ex-teenage celebrity and mediocre performance artist, hungry for fame and starved of love. All are haunted by Nick Jinks, a man who sows disaster wherever he treads. As the twentieth century unravels, Burden, Cogan, Chavez and Jinks are powerless to escape the connections that bind them. This is not fate, but its opposite: the weight of numbers.