When the amateur naturalist Yikai Zhang was given a case of beetle specimens by the insect dealer Hakamoto, he discovered among them what seemed to be evidence of previously undiscovered species. His hopes were raised further when Max Barclay, a world-leading entomologist, was baffled by the entire collection, especially an evil-looking beetle called Carabus. But with only one specimen known to science, they had to gather more evidence to establish the validity of the species.
Max sent the young man on the mission of his dreams – to undertake an expedition to the jungles of Hainan in search of the elusive Carabus. On his quest, he encountered some of the most bizarre and wonderful creatures imaginable as he trekked through the island's great rivers and mountains. What he didn't know is that the outcome of his adventure had already been written, and as the cloud of mystery cleared he was forced to accept a shocking but irrefutable truth.