Ben Jonson, an Oxford archaeologist, is visiting a museum in New York when he bumps into an old colleague, Gaston Weiss, who entrusts him with a packet of startling photographs of a hoard of gold treasure. It has a mysterious history, and so has Gaston Weiss. Shortly after their meeting, Weiss is gunned down in the street, and Jonson realises he is being followed.It is the beginning of a frightening pursuit, and Jonson, willy-nilly, becomes inextricably entangled in a complex mystery which leads him, in his search for the treasure, to Paris, Geneva, Rome, and the dangerous territory of Greece under the Colonels. In the company of a beautiful French girl, Sophie, he is hounded through the islands. But when the treasure is at last found, the chase takes a peculiar turn, with pursuers pursued, and every motive concealing another. Love and death meet at the climax.Peter Levi is a distinguished poet, critic and scholar. The head in the soup, with its dry wit, its ingenious twists and turns and its beautifully caught Greek background, marks his debut as a thriller writer.