Liu Hulan - She is a Red Princess and an investigator for the Ministry of Public Security.
David Stark - He is an American lawyer who is married to Liu Hulan.
Xiao Da / Michael Quon - He is a Chinese American who claims to be in the country finding his Chinese roots.
Tang Wenting / Bill Tang - He is the right hand of Xiao Da. Seen first at an All Patriotic Society meeting in the beginning of the novel, it is clear early on that he is a fanatic follower of Xiao Da.
Chaowen Stark - She is the deceased daughter of Hulan and David.
Vice Minister Zai - He is a father figure to Hulan.
Brian McCarthy - He is an American archaeological student on a fellowship to China as part of the attempt to preserve archaeological sites before the inundation from the Three Gorges Dam...
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