This novel follows a young man's journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world's most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. The son of an influential father who runs an orphan work camp, Pak Jun Do rises to prominence using instinctive talents and eventually becomes a professional kidnapper and romantic rival to Kim Jong Il. Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother, a singer "stolen" to Pyongyang, and a father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return. Considering himself 'a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,' Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress 'so pure, she didn't know what starving people looked like.'