Los Angeles Times reporter Eve Diamond has spent the day at LAX, shadowing a U.S. Customs Supervisor who's got his eye on an incoming flight from Beijing via Seoul and Tokyo. The flight's packed with the usual mass of humanity, ranging from the elegant Asian woman in the raspberry silk suit who emerges from first class carrying a tired toddler, to the scruffy students who have spent the long flight in economy. Suddenly, shots ring out. Three people are dead, including the silk-clad woman. The man who was booked on the flight as the dead woman's husband is missing. And the sad little toddler is left behind. Who is this child? Her passport says she's Japanese, but she doesn't seem to understand the language. Was the dead woman really her mother? Why has the child made five transpacific flights in one year? And why do Customs and Immigration whisk her immediately into hiding? Eve knows she must uncover the answers, even though it means putting herself at risk. Her search takes her from L.A.'s sleazy hotels and cybercafes to the upscale milieu of trendy restaurants and high-powered human-rights lawyers.
Nothing is quite what it appears to be, and nobody seems to want Eve to find the child.
Denise Hamilton's work has appeared in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, WIRED and COSMOPOLITAN. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.