A young man leaves his backdoor Russian town and heads to Moscow, never to be poor again. With each day, he grows more and more desperate, until he meets an old geologist with an intriguing and surprisingly profitable offer: to join him on his trip to the depths of Siberia, the largest forest on the planet, and become a "black digger" - one of those who find and excavate mammoth tusks with the purpose of selling them as ivory to the highest bidder.
One secret can bury an entire family forever... Desmond is a man ill equipped for today's world. He is reclusive and unsocial, traits exacerbated by his domineering mother. As a result, Desmond is at his happiest when he's absolutely alone. During a birdwatching outing along the Devon coast, Desmond wanders into a cave. Inside, he finds something that appalls and terrifies him: a skeleton dressed in a nun's wimple.