In 1934, famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot solves a theft at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The obsessive-compulsive sleuth, who seeks balance in life, and considers his case-solving ability to see a lie amidst truth to be a curse, wants to rest in Istanbul, but must return to London for another case. His friend Bouc, nephew of the director of the Simplon-route Orient Express service, arranges a bunk for him aboard the train. Unscrupulous businessman Edward Ratchett offers to hire Poirot as his bodyguard during the three-day journey, having received threatening letters from an unknown party, but Poirot refuses. That night, Poirot hears strange noises coming from Ratchett's compartment, and later sees someone in a red kimono running down the hallway. An avalanche derails the train's engine, stranding the passengers.