The discovery by a rookie police officer of the headless and mutilated body of a middle-aged woman in the residential area of Indianapolis triggers a joint CIA/British Intelligence Directorate (BID) investigation to reveal highly placed moles in both agencies. John Gunn from BID and Doyle Barnes from the CIA are sent to Russia to find evidence identifying the moles and to verify the contents of a message on a CD found at the crime scene of the murdered woman. The CD informs the CIA and BID that all the pasengers on the South Korean KAL flight shot down by the Soviet Union in 1983 survived the crash and are alive in Russian gulags. Did anyone survive the shoot-down of the KAL flight? Has a South Korean scientist who was a passenger on the flight escaped with plans for a revolutionary fuel cell? John Gunn and Doyle Barnes have the formidable task of searching the wild Russian Taiga for the scientist while being pursued by the brutal, sadistic and self-styled 'Assassin' who has left a trail of decapitated bodies across the USA and Europe.