“Lisa See begins to do for Beijing what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did for turn-of-the-century London or Dashiell Hammett did for 1920s San Francisco: She discerns the hidden city lurking beneath the public facade.”
–The Washington Post Book World
In the depths of a Beijing winter, during the waning days of Deng Xiaoping’s reign, the U.S. ambassador’s son is found dead–his body entombed in a frozen lake. Around the same time, aboard a ship adrift off the coast of Southern California, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Stark makes a startling discovery: the corpse of a Red Prince, a scion of China’s political elite.
The Chinese and American governments suspect that the deaths are connected and, in an unprecedented move, they join forces to see justice done. In Beijing, David teams up with the unorthodox police detective Liu Hulan. In an investigation that brings them to every corner of China and sparks an intense attraction between the two, David and Hulan discover a web linking human trafficking to the drug trade to governmental treachery–a web reaching from the Forbidden City to the heart of Los Angeles and, like the wide flower net used by Chinese fishermen, threatening to ensnare all within its reach.
“A graceful rendering of two different and complex cultures, within a highly intricate plot . . . The starkly beautiful landscapes of Beijing and its surrounding countryside are depicted with a lyrical precision.”
–Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Murder and intrigue splash across the canvas of modern Chinese life. . . . A vivid portrait of a vast Communist nation in the painful throes of a sea change.”
“Fascinating . . . that rare thriller that enlightens as well as it entertains.”
–San Diego Union-Tribune
A Finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK