In Stalin's Soviet Union, millions live in fear. Death is a whisper away. The mere suspicion of ideological disloyalty sends millions of innocents into the Gulags or to their executions. Defending the system from its citizens is the MGB, the State Security Force. No MGB officer is more courageous, conscientious, or idealistic than Leo Demidov. His only ambition has been to serve his country.
Then the impossible happens. A different kind of criminal, a murderer, is on the loose, killing at will. Leo finds himself demoted and denounced by his enemies, his world turned upside down, and every belief he's ever held shattered. The only way to save his life and the lives of his family is to uncover the criminal. But in a society that is officially paradise, its a crime against the State to suggest that a murderer, much less a serial killer, is in their midst. Exiled from his home, with only his wife remaining at his side, Leo must find and stop a criminal that the State won't admit even exists.