Nate Scheutt, American, 35, is pulled into a politically charged murder investigation when he stumbles onto the bodies of two young Europeans on a prestigious Beijing university campus. Gradually Nate discovers the case is entwined with an international quest for a small stone tablet, (a stele) that might contain the key to ancient China’s long-lost link with the West.
In the 1980’s, old Beijing’s walls and hutong alleyways were disappearing, victims of Deng Xiaoping’s proclamation 致富光 荣!(To get rich is glorious!). While juggling teaching English, his business, (and women), Nate seeks refuge at the bar on the roof of the Friendship Hotel with a legation of self-imposed exiles from the both sides of the Cold War. There he enters a netherworld of sex, spies, strange religion and the hidden history of China’s Cultural