Margaret Campbell is a forensic pathologist from Chicago. Li Yan is a Beijing detective with a horribly burned corpse on his hands. She has a broken life behind her, a lonely future dedicated to her profession in front. He has survived two decades of violent change by marrying himself to a career which now promises, at last, to bring him the respected place in Chinese society that his family lost in the Cultural Revolution. Neither of them is ready for the consequences of asking the wrong questions about the dead man - the ones that lead to the terrifying truth.