It's 1940 when Tolt Gross, an African-American law graduate, arrives in booming Shanghai from the provincial backwater of Seattle. He has accepted a role managing the Asia operations of a US flour company, a position with responsibility and status rarely available to a Black man in America. But the job comes with a humiliating precondition - he must report to a man who despises him. Once in Shanghai, Tolt is introduced to the delights of Shanghai's social and nightlife, flourishing despite Japan's invasion of China three years earlier, but in the middle of the hard work and hard play, he stumbles on a secret plan that Japan is developing to destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. How to give the alarm? Would anyone believe a warning from a Black man in Shanghai?