When his son's Chinese house guest, Suyin Qu, goes missing, Hawk reckons that it's her prerogative and declines to look for her. Shortly afterwards two men break into Jaikie's house looking for her and make the mistake of attacking him. However, the only thing they steal is a valuable bonsai tree. Could it be that there's more to Suyin's disappearance than a lapsed visa.
As Hawk tracks down Suyin's acquaintances it isn't long before he stumbles a brutal murder. Is this why she's gone to ground? Has his son been harbouring a killer? It would certainly explain why so many other people are are so keen to find her.
Unable to find answers in England, Hawk heads for China where the truth about Suyin Qu, to say nothing of the murder she's accused of, is finally revealed.