Moscow 1953: Leo Demidov is a treasured member of the MGB, arresting and interrogating men and women who have been accused spying. In a time when people were afraid of being arrested, fingers are pointed and innocent people are being tortured and executed without any evidence. Others are sent to the gulags to die a slow and painful death. Leo upholds the law of a country who’s citizens are living in fear of being dragged from their beds and shot without question. It is a law Leo believes in one hundred percent.
Then, after a man has been tortured and shot, one of the names on his list of informants is Leo’s own wife, Raisa. Does he hand her over to the authorities where she will undoubtably be killed, or does he stand by her? To him, the decision is obvious and soon he has been transferred to a small town in the Urals - demoted. There Leo finds the two bodies of a boy and a girl who have been killed in an identical manner. The exact same way a small boy was killed in Moscow. A crime he was ordered to cover up as an accident.
Now the evidence is overwhelming and Leo begins to investigate with the help of Raisa and his commanding officer, Nesterov. Soon, a nemesis from the MGB is after Leo and both husband and wife who are so close to finding the murderer of forty-four children are soon sought themselves by the MGB. Before the case is closed, Leo will have paid a huge price - emotionally as well as physically.