A serial killer is stalking the young women of Shanghai. The killer’s calling card is to leave the victims’ bodies in well trafficked locations, each of them redressed in a red mandarin dress. With the newspapers screaming about Shanghai’s first serial killer, Party officials anxious for a quick resolution, and the police under pressure from all sides, something has to give. Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department, a rising party cadre, is often put in charge of politically senstive cases. But this time, there’s a catch—Chen is on leave, ostensibly to study for his Master’s degree, but also to sidestep being dragged into a messy corruption case with political overtones. But when the murderer strikes directly at the investigative team itself, Chen must take over the investigation himself discovering that this, his most dangerous and sensitive case to date, has roots that reach back to the country’s tumultuous recent past.