When Chief Inspector Chen Cao is offered a week's break at a luxurious resort near Lake Tai, he accepts immediately. Increasingly worn out by the politics of his job, the opportunity to relax and recover sounds like heaven.
But the beautiful lake he remembers is much changed: covered by algae, its waters have been polluted by waste from local manufacturing plants. Even the local food is dangerous to eat. Is this the cost of progress in the new China?
Then his holiday is fatally disturbed: the boss of one of the most polluting businesses has been murdered and the leader of a local ecological group is the prime suspect. Inspector Chen must tread carefully if he is to uncover the truth behind the death and find justice for both the victim and the accused.