Hong Kong, August 2017.
On the eve of a crisis summit for world economic leaders, two Chinese Methodist ministers are killed in an apparently motiveless execution in Hong Kong's financial district. Luck makes Detective Alex Soong one of the first officers at the scene.
Yet Soong begins to suspect his involvement to be more than incidental, and the crime itself more than a senseless assassination: an instinct that is proven correct when Soong is contacted by a mysterious figure, and more massacres follow.
With the eyes of the world's media fixed on Hong Kong, Soong must race to intercept his tormentor, and thwart a conspiracy born from one of the bloodiest confrontations of China's past, which now threatens to destroy a fragile world order.
In this uneven near-future thriller set in Hong Kong, Jepson (All the Flowers in Shanghai) depicts a China in flux, torn between its past humiliations at the hands of the West and its powerful present. Senior Insp. Alex Soong and his partner, Michael De Suza, investigate the sniper murders of two Methodist ministers near Citibank Tower. Later, the killing of a real estate agent in an unoccupied warehouse brings Soong to a bizarre scene where several mutilated bodies and many dead ravens are found in a storage container. At the warehouse, a disembodied voice addresses Soong by name and delivers a diatribe against the West. The voice, presumably the killer s, also suggests that Soong join him in his quest to combat Western influence. Meanwhile, Soong must contend with his unsupportive wife, Jun, and antagonistic Senior Inspector Ying, who doesn t share his conviction that the two cases are linked. The personal connections deepen as the killer s grandiose plans threaten world stability, and only Soong may be able to stop him. Jepson s informed take on Chinese history lends weight to this otherwise forgettable crime novel.