We uncovered the last of the bodies in the red hour before dusk, as the sun stained the snowcaps of the Tian Shan mountains the color of dried blood and the spring air turned sharp and cold . . . Inspector Akyl Borubaev of the Bishkek Murder Squad has been exiled to the far corner of Kyrgyzstan, but death and corruption still haunt him in the remote town where he has been stationed.Borubaev soon finds himself caught up in a mysterious and gruesome new case: several children's bodies have been found buried together-all tagged with name bands that mark them as orphans, all killed in the same way. In his search for the truth behind the brutal killings, Borubaev hits a wall of silence, with no one to turn to outside his sometime lover, the beautiful and lethal undercover security service agent Saltanat Umarova.When Borubaev himself is framed for the production of blood-soaked child pornography connected with the case, it looks as though things couldn't get any worse. With the investigation at a dangerous standstill, Borubaev sets out to save his integrity, and to deliver his own savage brand of justice on behalf of the many dead who can't speak for themselves . . .