December 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Las hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans - but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins. The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and oe woman. William H. Parker is a captain on the Los Angeles Police Department. He's superbly gofted, corrosively ambitious, liquored-up, and consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at offs with Sergeant Dudley Smith -- Irish émigré, ex-IRA killer, fledgling war profiteer. Hideo Ashida is a police chemist and the only Japanese on the L.A. cop payroll. Kay Lake is a twenty-one-year-old dilettante looking for adventure. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart. The crime becomes a political storm center that brilliantly illuminates these four driven souls - comrades, rivals, lovers, histort's pawns.