Francis Marks has had enough of his dull life and is tired of being just another employee number in a big corporation. He needs to shake things up a bit, and applies for a job teaching English at a government funded school in Manaus, Brazil.
In Manaus, he befriends Eduardo, a local tour boat operator. Eduardo tells him that he needs investors for an audacious plan to head out into the jungle and look for Inca gold.
With details agreed, they head deep into the jungle, taking a number of local labourers. The work will be long and hard, and will involve endless digging, day after day in the sweltering heat.
The jungle is the kind of place that seems to bring out the worst in men. It brings out their violent, brutish natures. Tempers fray, and relationships turn ugly. Danger lurks everywhere, from the creatures circling the camp to the hostile human visitors intent on seeing them leave. When men begin dying, and escape is ruled out, the mere act of survival becomes more valued than any amount of hidden gold.