The Industry of Souls is the story of Alexander Bayliss, a British citizen arrested for spying in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s. Presumed dead by the British Government, he survives 20 years in a Soviet labour camp. Eventually freed from the gulag in the 1970s, he finds he has no reason to return to the West - he has become Russian in everything but birth. He finds his way to the home of his best friend at camp - Kirill. Taken in by Kirill’s childless daughter and her husband he eventually becomes a local schoolmaster - much loved by all the village.