In the Cosmic Era, the proliferation of arcanotech, cyborgs, robots, parapsychic threats, black market weapons, new illegal drugs constantly hitting the market, all backed up by large organized criminal syndicates, the average police officer doesn't stand a chance.
It looks like a cook's book. It is a cook's book. It is also where the cook, who happened to be a master spy, encoded all his secrets and contacts. The book has innocently fallen into your group's hands. Everyone wants it, and many are not subtle or peaceful in their attempts.