Brilliant, lonely genetic scientist Piggy Brown is desperate for a child, but he's in a tricky legal situation. Dancer is a lawyer with his own reasons for wanting to grant Piggy's dearest wish - and he can set up Conjugal Contracts which push the envelope of the law. Dancer visits The Nest, the official centre for surrogates, and inveigles them into recommending someone they have used before, someone who won't ask too many questions about the baby she carries. But choosing a surrogate can be risky, and this one, Angela, comes with baggage: her own child, Molly, a six-year-old who has already seen too much of her mother's world. When a grotesque kidnapping occurs, everything is thrown into chaos and Jack Lee, Chief Investigator for the UN Ethical Science Council, decides it's time to take charge of the case - for the sake of humanity's future.