In a top-secret location deep in the Ural Mountains, Russian President Gennadiy Gryzlov has built his nation's most dangerous weapon since the atomic bomb-a fearsome tool to gain superiority in Russia's long-running battle with the West. From inside Perun Aerie-an intricate network of underground tunnels and chambers that is the heart of the Russian cyber warfare program-he is launching a carefully plotted series of attacks on an unsuspecting U.S. and its European allies.
The first strike targets Warsaw, Poland, where Russian malware wipes out the records of nearly every Polish bank account, imploding the country's financial system and panicking the rest of Europe. When Stacy Anne Barbeau, the besieged American president, fails to effectively combat the Russian threat, Brad McLanahan, on some well-earned R&R with his new Polish girlfriend, Major Nadia Rozek, is called back to duty.
As the Russians' deadly tactics escalate - including full-scale assaults on Europe's power grid and the remote hijacking of a commercial airliner that kills hundreds of civilians - McLanahan and his Scion team kick into gear, arming themselves with the most advanced technological weaponry for the epic struggle ahead. A patriot in the mold of his father, the late general Patrick McLanahan, Brad knows firsthand the price of freedom.
With the world's fate hanging in the balance, will Scion succeed in turning back Gryzlov before he can realize his terrifying ambition to conquer the globe? And what will the toll of victory be?
The masterly 19th entry in bestseller Brown's McLanahan series (after 2012's Tiger Claw) combines geopolitical machinations and advanced computer terrorism. In the near future, under the iron rule of President Gennadiy Gryzlov, Russia targets Poland, temporarily forgoing bullets for bytes with a cyberwarfare campaign waged from a secret facility buried deep in the Ural Mountains. With Poland's financial and power systems devastated by malware attacks, civilian aircraft wirelessly reprogrammed into deadly missiles, and an untraceable team of assassins lying in ambush, pilot Brad McLanahan and his Scion team, based in Eastern Europe, must utilize every gadget at their disposal to find and destroy the underground lair. Since the NATO alliance has fallen apart, thanks to the U.S. president's ineptitude, the Poles have only the Baltic states and other small countries in the region to help them. The smoke barely clears from the explosive climactic battle before Brown, a founding father of the military techno-thriller genre, ups the stakes for the inevitable sequel.