Moscow is filled with horror. A mysterious murderer, a real maniac, with inhuman cruelty, which astonishes even case-hardened policemen, kills prostitutes. While doing so, he creates merely incredible compositions from the bodies and their internal parts, as though preparing for some devilish performance. Only Erast Petrovich Fandorin is up to the job of finding and catching such a criminal. Given that he has only recently returned from England, where everybody has just begun to come round after the frenzied actions of Jack the Ripper.