Rick Hunter investigates after his former partner, Dee Dee McCall's fiancé, San Diego Mayoral Candidate Roger Prescott, kills a burglar in apparent self defense. As Hunter investigates with McCall, they discover that Prescott has a Dark and Troubled Past, and is being hounded by a Russian Mobster.
- Defector from Decadence: Roger became disillusioned with his service to the Soviet Union upon realizing that his intelligence organization was targeting civilians over their disillusionment with communism.
- Former Regime Personnel: Both Roger and Vladimir used to be KGB members, but while Roger was genuinely concerned about his country's security and objected to murdering people over political views, Vladimir was fully complicit in the purges.
- Heroic Russian Émigré: Roger Prescott is actually a former KGB official named Mishka Savaransky who defected to the United States when he realized innocent people were going to be purged due to opposition to Communism.
- The Mafiya: Vladimir Koskov is a Russian Mobster who used to be a KGB official, and wants to target people who evaded him for extortion or death.
- The Purge: Vladimir Koskov is responsible for the deaths of numerous people from his KGB days, to the point of being known as the " Butcher of Saint Petersburg".
- Renegade Russian: Vladimir Koskov is a former KGB officer turned Russian Mobster who wants a list of Russian expat identities for his own personal gain.