Lincoln and Amelia are recruited to track down a cargo ship carrying two dozen illegal Chinese immigrants, as well as the notorious human smuggler and killer known as the Ghost. But when the capture goes disastrously wrong, Lincoln and Amelia find themselves in a race to stop the Ghost before he can track down and murder the two surviving families who have vanished deep into the labyrinthine world of New York City's Chinese community. Over the next forty-eight hours the Ghost ruthlessly hunts for the families while Rhyme, aided by a policeman from mainland China, struggles to find them before they die and Sachs pursues a very different kind of policework - forming a connection with one of the immigrants that may have consequences going to the core of her relationship with her partner and lover, Lincoln Rhyme.
Jeff Deaver was a lawyer before quitting work to become a full-time writer. He divides his time between Washington, DC and California.