By the time his son, Buck, arrives in London, Will Hobbs has settled into the quiet and solitary routines of retirement with the grace and self-sufficiency he carried through his years as a reporter in Africa. A reflective man, he senses an emptiness at the edges of his heart and mind-though he scarcely acknowledges it. But Buck brings along with his beautiful wife, Key, and the news that he's now covering Will's old territory-the incendiary part of Africa that once was the core of his father's life. Soon word comes back from Africa that Buck is missing and Will sets out to find him. In a journey through rings of violence and fear, of passion and glimmering hope, Will watches the Africa he knew disintegrate, believing that at its center he might find the pulse of his own life.