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Lusaka, Zambia: Zoe Fleming is a young, idealistic American lawyer working with an NGO devoted to combating the epidemic of child sexual assault in southern Africa. Zoe’s organization is called in to help when an adolescent girl is brutally assaulted. The girl’s identity is a mystery. Where did she come from? Was the attack a random street crime or a premeditated act?
A betrayal in her past gives the girl’s plight a special resonance for Zoe, and she is determined to find the perpetrator. She slowly forms a working relationship, and then a surprising friendship, with Joseph Kabuta, a Zambian police officer. Their search takes them from Lusaka’s roughest neighbourhoods to the wild waters of Victoria Falls, from the AIDS-stricken streets of Johannesburg to the matchless splendour of Cape Town.
As the investigation builds to a climax, threatening to send shockwaves through Zambian society, Zoe is forced to radically reshape her assumptions about love, loyalty, family and, especially, the meaning of justice.