On a Moscow-bound train to start a new life, 15-year-old Maya and her young baby try to fend off the advances of a drunken soldier. Hours later, a drugged Maya awakes in Yaroslavl Station in Moscow's seedy Komsomol Square (the "Three Stations") without her possessions and baby. Arkady Renko, although suspended from the prosecutor's office, bucks his superiors and goes to Three Stations to examine a dead prostitute. Although the case looks like a drug overdose, Renko suspects murder. Soon, Maya's and the prostitute's stories overlap as Renko starts to dig deeply into a web of prostitution rings, bureaucratic corruption, black markets for babies--and unbridled fear.