The message was frustratingly vague: a warning of an imminent jihadi threat to the United States. No other information would be forthcoming; you can't interrogate a dead man, even if he was illegally providing US visas to Chinese citizens.
San Francisco homicide detective Quincy McNeil is dispatched to China to investigate the nature of the threat. There McNeil liaises with Chinese security police officer Li Yao, an intelligent, alluring woman almost twenty years his junior.
The warning, McNeil discovers, is accurate. Masterminded by the notorious and elusive Abu Sharq, the plan revolves around human smuggling, suicide bombers, and a massive counterfeiting scheme using virtually undetectable fake currency provided by North Korea-and the former head of the US Mint's banknote unit.
McNeil's hunt will take him from the US consulate in Guangzhou to the high-rolling casinos of Macau and Turpan's millennia-old underground canals. Against him stand Sharq and his allies, as well as a power-hungry Chinese politician and a Uighur imam whose hatred of the West is equaled only by his hatred for the Chinese.
It's a dicey predicament, made more complicated by McNeil's growing attraction to Li Yao. Now is not the time for distractions-even beautiful ones.