In a busy Shanghai alley, the body of an American police officer is found, dismembered and arranged in bizarre fashion. The murder appears to be the work of a trained assassin with a deadly message to send. And before long, he leaves another: the body of an African diplomat, as skilfully carved up as the first.
Assigned to track the killer is homicide detective Zhong Fong. Haunted by the deaths of his actress wife and unborn child, Fong throws himself into the case. But his concentration is disrupted, first by the arrival of his late wife's lover, and then by the realisation that he may be the killer's next target. As he hunts for the murderer, Fong must confront his own secrets - and those of his rapidly changing city.