It is Singapore in 1870 and Aoki is a karayuki-san. Aged fifteen, Aoki was sold by her father and shipped to Singapore from Japan, where she was bought into the world of prostitution. In a chance encounter with Reverend Harry Gilmore and his nine-year-old son Rupert from England, she finds herself drawn to their domicile life. Indomitable, empathetic and resolute, she is determined to break free of her life of prostitution and live the life she has always dreamt of. Against the backdrop of the savage decapitation of one of Aoki’s Chinese customers, Aoki and Harry’s feelings forge themselves into an unexpected bond. Meanwhile, detective superintendent Karupan, of the island’s police, strives desperately to solve the crime and fend off possible religious riots. In a race against time, will the dreadful crime be solved and will Aoki and Harry’s budding emotions grow into something permanent?