A farmer finds a corpse floating near the mouth of the Yangtze River. This isn't the first time a body has washed up on his little piece of land. He's seen girl babies. He's seen young women. But this body, despite its badly decomposed state, is easily identified as a foreigner by its red hair. David Stark, international attorney, and Liu Hulan, inspector for the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing, are assigned to the murder investigation. However it soon becomes clear that this is more than a simple case of homicide. The victim, an American archaeologist, is just one of several similar casualties at archaeological sites along the Yangtze. What's more, priceless artefacts are disappearing from these same sites, only to reappear outside China on the world's art market. As David and Hulan pick their way through the complex maze of politics they come to realise that what is at stake is the safety of both their homelands. And that their shadowy enemy will stop at nothing to gain its mysterious prize - China's Dragon Bones.