Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department is often assigned cases considered politically "sensitive," and now the Minister of Public Security insists that Chen personally take on a 'special assignment.' Leery of international embarrassment, the party is concerned about rumors related to Chairman Mao. Jiao, the granddaughter of an actress who had a 'special relationship' to Mao has moved into a luxury apartment and become involved with a new social set centered around the remnants of pre-Communist Shanghai society. All without any visible means of support.
Worried that Jiao has inherited some sort of artifact that could prove damaging to Mao's reputation, Chen has been given a few short days to infiltrate her social circle, determine if the feared material exists and, if it does, retrieve it quietly. And if he fails to solve this 'Mao case, ' the consequences will be unpleasant for all concerned.