Beijing, 1941: The ancient bones of the famed "Peking Man" are placed in two wooden crates for shipment to the United States to escape the invading Japanese army. The bones are never seen again. New York City, 1970s: a mysterious woman offers to sell the bones to an unknown man on top of the Empire State Building. But when someone takes a photograph, she makes a hasty retreat and disappears forever. San Francisco, 1980s: The greatest treasure in the history of paleontology remains missing until a frantic stranger named Jimmy calls on noted anthropologist Ellen Christie and shares a scintillating secret with her: he has evidence of the bones in his backpack. She becomes convinced that he is right. But when she visits his Chinatown home, Jimmy must flee with the evidence, as a couple of thugs are also after the treasure. As Ellen and Jimmy's brother, Dan, navigate the treachery of the city's elite criminals, her dreams of academic stardom draw closer. Unfortunately, so does danger. Can Ellen really trust Jimmy? And if she can't, will her own ambition and her growing attraction to Dan lead her astray? Ellen will soon discover that the real world is greyer than the black-and-white lines of science, and the blurrier the lines, the more fun they are to cross!