A Guatemalan journalist is kidnapped, and the only message from her kidnappers is the murder of her lawyer. In a race against time, Luc Vanier sets about reconstructing her life, through the sordid world of human trafficking, the secretive underbelly of a multinational mining corporation, and the hiding places of desperate refugees. When Vanier is brutally warned off the investigation, he throws away the rule book and goes after the villains with a vengeance.
In Kirby's third Luc Vanier mystery (after The Dead of Winter), Luc, an inspector detective with the Montreal police, leads the investigation into the kidnapping of Sophia Luna, a Guatemalan journalist who was struggling to remain in Canada after her refugee claim was rejected. She was working on a story about human trafficking, and following that lead takes Luc and his fellow detectives Saint Jacques and Laurent into that very dark underworld. A parallel plot line throughout much of the book tells the story of Katya Babyak, a young woman from the Ukraine who agreed to be smuggled into Canada on the promise of a job as a nanny. Instead, when she arrived in Montreal, she was held hostage and forced to work as a prostitute. The two storylines come together in a tense thriller mixing ruthless criminals, corrupt politicians, and danger that threatens Luc's family and drives the veteran policeman to go beyond the limits of the law. Kirby's other career as a lawyer lends the book a gritty realism and informs some sharp political observations about the plight of migrant people.