When Shan Tao Yun and his old friend Lokesh are abruptly dragged away by Public Security, he is convinced that their secret, often illegal, support of struggling Tibetans has brought their final ruin. But his fear turns to confusion as he discovers he has been chosen to fill a vacancy on a special international commission investigating Tibetan suicides. Soon he finds that his predecessor was murdered, and when a monk sets himself on fire in front of the commissioners, he realises that the Commission is being used as a tool to whitewash Tibet's self-immolation protests as acts of crime and terrorism. Shan faces an impossible dilemma when the Public Security officer who runs the Commission, Major Ren, orders the imprisoned Lokesh to coerce Shan into following Beijing's script for the Commission. He has no choice but to become part of the hated machine that is devouring Tibet, but when he discovers that the most recent immolation was actually another murder, he realises the Commission itself is riddled with crime and intrigue. Everywhere he turns, Shan finds new secrets that seem lead to the last agonising chapter of his life.
Shan must make a final desperate effort to uncover the Commission's terrible secrets whose painful truth could change Shan's life and possibly that of many Tibetans forever.
Eliot Pattison is the author of the Inspector Shan Tao Yun series, which began with the Edgar Award-winning Gold Dagger finalist The Skull Mantra. Other acclaimed Shan Tao Yun novels include Water Touching Stone, Bone Mountain, and Soul of the Fire, which was a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year. Pattison is a world traveler and frequent visitor to China, and his numerous books and articles on international policy issues have been published around the world.