It’s 1936. Stalin rules with his rod of steel. Fear is everywhere – of his secret police and of a vicious killer. A killer who first tortures a beautiful girl, then a thief, cutting bits off their bodies.

Alexei, tough ex-soldier and detective, must dive into the milieu of professional criminals as he struggles to find who sliced up the girl.

Here is mixed the cruel atmosphere of a Russia we never knew properly with a gruesomely readable story.

Ryan brings the pain, hunger and poverty of the people to life, adding the mystery of murder to the mayhem.

Politics, jealousy, love and money: potent ingredients for a potboiler with a twist.