An epic tale about a land and a people Winston Churchill called “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
American cancer specialist Dr. Alex Cousins is on a covert mission to the USSR. He is tasked with prolonging the life of Soviet Politburo Chief, Viktor Moiseyevich Dimitrov, who is suffering from advanced stage leukemia. But the tenuous confidence between the unlikely colleagues is shattered one night as Alex accidentally discovers Dimitrov’s diabolical plans for a nuclear strike on China. Alex soon finds himself dispatched, homeward bound, on a six-thousand-mile journey aboard the Trans-Siberian Express; long enough, Alex realizes, to silence him from alerting the U.S. of the imminent destruction.
Reluctant at first to embark upon the journey, Alex is beckoned into the Siberian expanse by memories of his grandfather, Aleksandr Kuznetzov, who wove tales of magic and mystery into this seemingly desolate place. As the train lumbers east across snow-cloaked mountains, glimmering past a forest glow, watchful eyes rest on the American doctor. Surrounding him are people beaten and broken by life, each drawn to this emperor of trains in search of a brighter future. But most curious is Anna Petrovna Valentinova, the hauntingly beautiful history professor and Alex’s alluring travelling companion. As Anna captivates Alex with illusions of her homeland, a passionate romance transcending political barriers unfolds under KGB surveillance.
A train attendant yearns for love, a deformed man seeks revenge on an old enemy, and a persecuted Jewish couple runs to a new home as the Trans-Siberian Express roars onward through a cavern of hopes and memories, coloring its tracks with tales of love, loss, and nuclear intrigue from one end of Russia to the other.