Moscow, December 1991. Chaos reigns after the fall of Communism. Muscovites are used to queues and empty shelves, but now they have to cope with a dangerous power vacuum - and a war between brutal Mafia gangs for control of the city. So when a child's body is found beneath the ice of the Moscow River it attracts little attention to begin with. Then a second body is found. And a third. At the heart of the gathering storm is Red October, Russia's most famous vodka distillery. Alice Liddell, an American banker, has come to Moscow to oversee its privatization - an unpopular move. Alice wants to get going, but faced with the charismatic, ruthless Lev - distillery director and head of one of the warring Mafia gangs - a very difficult job is starting to look impossible.