Harry Palmer, who has left MI5 to work as a private investigator, is told by a mechanical voice on the phone to take a package to Helsinki.  But he is abducted by his former MI5 superior, Colonel Ross  who coerces him into working once more for the British government in pursuing a conspiracy. After being captured and left for dead in Latvia, Harry is rescued by Colonel Stok , an old acquaintance from the KGB. Pursuing the conspiracy he arrives in Texas and meets oil tycoon General Midwinter who proudly displays his billion-dollar ‘brain’, a room full of computers that dispenses orders to his agents around the world. The General is in the midst of planning a rebellion which he thinks will trigger the fall of the Soviet Union. His plan –  infect the Red Army with viruses, a move that could trigger World War III. It’s up to Harry to stop the virus, travelling via eggs, to the Soviet Union.