When a young girl is found murdered wearing nothing but a torn red mandarin dress, it does not completely surprise Detective Yu. Possibly one of those material girls fallen foul of the triads or a dangerous Mr Big Bucks. Lying low after a corruption investigation that could have tainted him badly politically, Inspector Chen has taken on part-time college studies to improve his chances in the Party system, or to qualify him for an alternative career. But then a second victim, a nightclub entertainer, is found dead in a similar red dress. With the possibility of a serial killer in Shanghai waiting to strike again, Chen is pulled back to work. Struggling with a breakdown under the combined pressure of his academic deadlines and the case, he must try to stop the killer under the most unexpected circumstances.