A grotesquely burned corpse found in a city park is a troubling mystery for Beijing detective Li Yan. Yan, devoted to his career as a means of restoring the respect his family lost during the Cultural Revolution, needs outside help if he is to break the case.
The unidentified cadaver in turn provides a welcome distraction for forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell. Campbell, married to her work and having left America and her broken past behind, throws herself into the investigation and before long uncovers a bizarre anomaly.
An unlikely partnership develops between Li and Campbell as they follow the resulting lead. A fiery and volatile chemistry ignites, exposing not only their individual demons, but an even greater evil-a conspiracy that threatens their lives, as well as those of millions of others.