We are in Hongkong in 2017.  In this near future the premise is that a crisis summit for world leaders is held after China has bailed out a bankrupt Europe. We are experiencing a future history  but since it is so near the variance is limited.  Duncan Jepson is able to refer to events of the early 21st century to support his arguments.  Hongkong is described as anyone who had been there would recognise but with the twist that all business has gone into China leaving the wealthy on the Peak but the rest of the city fairly empty and many people jobless.  Detective Inspector Alex Soong is on a stakeout during a typhoon as the story begins.  The story moves fast and furiously around the city.  Alex, although he has been in Hongkong for several years, is an outsider in that he is a Mainland Chinese and has a prestigious father and grandfather and a wife from a wealthy family.