Shan Tao Yun, now the reluctant constable of a remote Tibetan town, has learned to expect the impossible at the roof of the world, but nothing has prepared him for his discovery when he investigates a report that a nun has been savagely assaulted by ghosts. In an ancient tomb by the old nun lies a gilded saint buried centuries earlier, flanked by the remains of a Chinese soldier killed fifty years before and an American man murdered only hours earlier. Shan is thrust into a maelstrom of intrigue and contradiction.
The Tibetans are terrified, the notorious Public Security Bureau wants nothing to do with the murders, and the army seems determined to just bury the dead again and Shan with them. No one wants to pursue the truth - except Shan, who finds himself in a violent collision between a heartbreaking, clandestine effort to reunite Tibetan refugees separated for decades and a covert corruption investigation that reaches to the top levels of the government in Beijing. The terrible secret Shan uncovers changes his town and his life forever.
This ninth installment of Pattison’s award-winning Inspector Shan series weaves a suspenseful mystery into a backdrop of an ancient culture being slowly dismantled, a portrait of modern Tibet.