It has been a whirlwind few years for Li Yan and Margaret Campbell. Nowadays, both are busy juggling their huge professional workloads — Li as the newly promoted chief of Beijing’s serious crime squad, and Campbell as lecturer at the University of Public Security — with the day-to-day raising of their young son, Li Jon.
When a desperate mother appeals to Campbell’s own maternal instincts, Li agrees to look into the disappearance of a 17-year-old Beijing girl, Jiang Meilin.
Yet Li’s investigation soon turns from a favour into a full-scale murder enquiry. And when he receives an anonymous note he learns Jiang Meilin’s death is tied to a dangerous underground trade, and a dark marital rite from China’s past.