Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov fights to stop a vendetta against the acrobats of the Moscow circus.
A drunk perches atop the statue of Nikolai Gogol in Arbat Square, and police inspector Porfiry Rostnikov sighs. After years fighting to become a top detective, he has suffered a demotion to the minor crimes unit, which means the lunatic on the statue is his responsibility. But the limping policeman fails to talk the distraught man down, and with a perfect somersault, acrobat Valerian Duznetzov makes the last leap of his storied career.
Across town, Duznetzov's partner, Oleg, waits for him under the big top, practicing their trapeze routine high above the circus floor. After letting go of the bars and going into a perfect double flip, Oleg falls, realizing just before impact that the net was treacherously untied. As Rostnikov digs into this strange pair of deaths, he finds dark secrets inside the Moscow circus — secrets sure to grab the attention of his old friends at the KGB.