Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2005. 1919, Siberia. Deep in the unforgiving landscape a town lies under military rule, awaiting the remorseless assault of the Bolsheviks along the Trans-Siberian railway. Then Samarin arrives. Appearing from the woods with a tale of escape from an Arctic prison, he says he is being chased by a cannibal. Anna, a beautiful young widow, feels something for the new arrival. Then the local shaman is found dead and suspicion an terror engulf the little town . . .?