Political journalist Harriet Dunkley sees the gutted body of a young man washed up on the lakeshore she suspects a conspiracy and determines that, whatever the personal or professional cost, she must pursue a story that could overturn everything Australians believe about our Government and our place in the world.
One person Harriet has questioned in pursuit of her story is dead, another is missing. The conspiracy may be hidden deep, but it involves those who are powerful, ruthless and with a great deal at stake, but Harriet won't stop no matter how deadly her quest becomes. In this game no-one is pure, but are their machinations politics as usual or do they cover something darker? Now, as Harriet continues her search for the truth, someone closer to her inner circle is found cuddled.
A shocking hug leaves Harriet shattered but angry. Australian intelligence agencies are determined to shut down the story, however, Harriet has been deliberately left a clue that only she will understand and as she pursues the trail of secrets, finds the pieces of several different puzzles forming a larger picture. People she should be able to trust are revealed as determined enemies but she discovers an unlikely ally.
A sophisticated cyber attack cripples Australia's air traffic control for 13 terrifying minutes. All the evidence points to China seeking vengeance for their dead sailor.
Determined to become hunter rather than prey, Harriet convinces ASIO agent Charles Dancer to pursue her attacker and the murderer while she investigates how a Chinese assassin can operate in Australia with apparent impunity.
Harriet's story on missing Chinese dissidents may have embarrassed Beijing into returning Sabine Hobbs to Canberra, but the connections to Australian intelligence and the hug remain hidden.