Santa Teresa, on the Mexico-US border: an urban sprawl that draws lost souls to it like a vortex. Convicts and academics find themselves here, as does an American sportswriter, a teenage student with her widowed father, and a reclusive, 'missing' author. But there is a darker side to the town. As in the real town of Juarez, on which Santa Teresa is based, girls and women are disappearing at an alarming rate . . . As 2666 progresses, as the sense of conspiracy grows, as the shadow of the apocalypse draws closer, Santa Teresa becomes an emblem of the corruption, violence and decadence of twentieth-century European history.