Polo leaves his San Francisco home base to do a favor for an old friend. It sounds simple enough: Fly to London to hand deliver a letter, a check, and a cassette tape to a distant cousin of Polo's friend Raymond Singh. With first-class plane tickets, a hefty expense account, and reservations at the Ritz, how can he refuse?
Raymond's cousin Gurbeep Singh proves elusive, though, and in the process of tracking him down, the persistent detective runs into several nasty situations. As Polo delves deeper into Gurbeep's affairs, a dark picture emerges. Undeterred, he continues an investigation that takes him from London to San Francisco and Canada and into the vicious underworld of pornography, smuggling, kidnapping, and murder.
Nick Polo, Kennealy's ex-cop/ex-con San Francisco-based PI, narrates his seventh caper--after last year's Green with Envy --smoothly, earnestly and with a note of sanctimony now and then. Polo's millionaire friend Raymond Singh hires him to deliver a cashier's check for $60,000, as well as a letter and an audiotape (both in Hindi), to his cousin Gurbeep ``Gordy'' Singh in London. After finally connecting with the elusive Gordy, Nick accompanies one of his associates to a seedy nightclub, where he soon realizes that the ``slave auction'' he's witnessing is for real. The gentlemanly Nick must fight his way out, but the next day he's questioned about the murder of a clerk of Gordy's. Nick is allowed to return to San Francisco, where Raymond's terrified teenage niece tells him that her uncle has vanished. With his reporter friend Jane, Nick tracks a suspected child prostitution ring and faces danger in a newly built fortress-like palace in the country before Kennealy wraps things up with a neat, if fiery, resolution on a yacht near Vancouver.