In the heart of Vanuatu's Tanna island, Hu Lee, the leader of an aid agency, meets a tragic end, fatally stabbed amidst a tsunami evacuation drill. With no witnesses, Sergeant George Long, visiting for the wedding of Constable Jayline Oli, is thrust into the role of lead investigator. Ordered by his superiors in Vila, he delves into a perplexing case that draws the attention of the Vanuatu Government, police force, and Chinese Embassy.

As George and partner Jayline Oli dig deeper, a web of debts owed to Lee surfaces, revealing a growing list of potential motives and suspects. Their path to the truth is fraught with obstacles. Hindered by uncooperative local law enforcement, an unexpected visit from a Chinese Embassy official, and the unsettling possibility of family involvement, George and Jayline must traverse Vanuatu's rugged terrain – from the historic town of Lenakel to the summit of Mt Yasur, an active volcano.

As the investigation unfolds, George's mixed heritage adds another layer of complexity, further entangling him in a case that becomes increasingly personal. While George's own life unravels and with stunning landscapes as a backdrop, the duo races against time to untangle a web of secrets and deception …

About the author(s)

Matt Francis is an Australian based academic with a love of Vanuatu and the Pacific. He has spent the last two decades researching and writing about this part of the world. Matt Francis began his career working for an international aid agency and has undertaken development-based work across Asia and the Pacific. In this, his first crime novel, Matt Francis introduces Senior Constable George Wong and Probationary Constable Jayline Oli of the Vanuatu Police Force as they travel from one end of Port Vila to the other in Port Vila’s most decrepit and unsafe taxi-van.