The setting is a Europe in turmoil during the years 1938-1939. Timo Koskinen, an intelligence agent, is sent by his Finnish government on a mission to assassinate Stalin. Finland fears an invasion by the Soviet Union and believes the assassination will prevent this. Along the way, Timo meets Elena Marikova an attractive young Russian translator of the Finnish language, and an intimate relationship develops. Timo soon discovers that Elena is a member of the Russian underground whose purpose is also to assassinate Stalin to save Russia from his monstrous dictatorship. The love of Timo for his wife gradually cools as his affair with Elena heats up. Coincidentally, the United States State Department sends agents to try to neutralize Stalin in order to hinder the spread of communism in Europe and America. The U.S. agents discover and join with Koskinen, Elena, and the underground in a common cause. The action of the novel involves intrigue and murder in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, confrontations with the dreaded Soviet police, the plot to lure Stalin into a sexual liaison with Elena in order to destroy him, and the violent failure of the plan as a result of the betrayal by a member of the underground.