The past erupts into the present when the police arrest Alexei Volkovoy, known as Volk, at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport and take him to a murder scene. At first, the dead man appears to be just one more victim of Moscow's out-of-control violence.
A firefight reverberates through Moscow's dark, rain-soaked streets; shattered glass and screams echo in the air. In the lawless ways of Russia's capital city, the gunmen melt away into the night. Two men are dead, the targets not what they seem. A shadowy figure lopes along the riverbank outside the Kremlin walls. Known to all as Volk, a battle-hardened veteran of Russia's brutal war in Chechnya, he prowls Moscow¿s grim alleyways, a knife concealed in his prosthetic foot at all times.
Another prominent journalist is found murdered in Putin’s Russia, shot to death on the banks of the Techa River near the radioactive village of Metlino. Katarina Mironova, known around the world as Kato, could simply fade from the public eye, one more journalist killed during Putin’s war on the free press, one more statistic in a grim tally. But to Russian agent Alexei Volkovoy, Kato’s murder evokes far more emotion. It summons too many memories, haunts him in too many ways for him to allow her death go unavenged.
The headquarters of an American oil company hemorrhages chemical-pink smoke into the Moscow night, the aftermath of an apparent terrorist attack. A Russian army captain carrying a priceless Fabergé egg and digital evidence of horrific wartime atrocities is murdered and relieved of both of those prizes.