In an Afterward, the author notes this novel has as its protagonist Miaow, the young street girl adopted by Poke Rafferty and his wife, Rose. Inasmuch as a great deal of descriptive material is devoted to her actions and the “attitude” inherent in a 12-year-old (or is it 13?) developing personality, as well as her role in helping purchase a cellular phone with incriminating pictures, that is true.
However, as in prior entries in the Poke Rafferty series, it is up to him to solve the mystery, which begins with the murder of two “retired” police officers who ran a murder-for-hire operation for years out of the department. And Poke finds that the deaths are related to the reason for their retirement, which was a cover-up of the acts to shield the department. And now, the “investigation” again is attempting to prevent daylight from exposing the higher-ups in the department from exposure.
As in past novels in the series, Poke is resourceful and Rose is, well, Rose. Miaow is depicted as a typical teenager. What seems a little different this time is the lack of the atmosphere of Bangkok and Thailand, the tastes and sounds which usually are so real. In a sense, introduction of Bo (the boy who originally found Miaow and saved her from the streets) and his “home” for street children fulfills this customary element, and the rest is not essential for the story.