As the months went by, Cí learned to tell the differences between accidental wounds and those brought about in an attempt to kill; among the incisions made by hatchets and daggers, kitchen knives, machetes and swords; between a murder and a suicide.
Cí, a young scholar-turned-gravedigger in medieval China, has survived enough horrors and pain to last several lifetimes. He finally has the chance to return to his studies—only to receive orders from the Imperial Court to find the sadistic perpetrator of a series of brutal murders.
With lives in jeopardy, Cí finds his gruesome investigation complicated by his old loyalties—and by his growing desire for the enigmatic beauty haunting his thoughts. Is he skilled enough to track down the murderer? Or will the killer claim him first?