Set among the ruins of the Soviet empire, this darkly comic true-crime thriller involves environmental disaster, international intrigue, and an unsolved murder. In January 2000, Rob Ferguson went to Uzbekistan to work on a project designed to save the shrinking Aral Sea. By the time he left a year later, he was under suspicion for murder, and the project had achieved almost nothing: once the world's third largest lake, researchers warn the Aral may be gone by 2020. The Devil and the Disappearing Sea is the true story of a well-meaning man who travels to one the earth's poorest regions in the hopes of staving off an environmental tragedy. Instead, he encounters corrupt officials, bumbling bureaucrats, anti-Western hostility, and a slew of insurmountable problems. As the project grinds to a halt, only the ancient cities, friendly people, and a sharp sense of humor keep Ferguson on the right side of sanity.