Frustrated by country life and eager for adventure and excitement, seventeen-year-old Tom Button moves to the city to study. Once there, and living in a run-down apartment block called Cairo, he is befriended by the eccentric musician Max Cheever, his beautiful wife Sally, and their close-knit circle of painters and poets. As Tom falls under the sway of his charismatic older friends, he enters a bohemian world of parties and gallery openings. Soon, however, he is caught up in more sinister events involving deception and betrayal, t to mention one of the greatest unsolved art heists of the twentieth century: the infamous theft of Picasso's Weeping Woman. Set among the demimonde — where thing and body is as they seem — Cairo is a vel about growing up, the perils of first love, and finding one's true place in the world.