Superpowers play a deadly game of brinkmanship in this “unputdownable” Cold War thriller by the New York Times–bestselling author of Enemy at the Gates(Manchester Evening News).
The Soviet Union delivers an ultimatum to the president of the United States: Surrender unconditionally within 72 hours or a secret weapon of unprecedented capabilities will take millions of American lives.
President William Mellon Stark ran on a campaign of peace and kept his promises, slashing the military budget and pouring millions into domestic programs. Now the nation is years behind in the technology of mass destruction. Desperate measures are Stark’s only options.
In Soviet Asia, a team of Special Forces saboteurs led by Colonel Joe Safcek attempts to vaporize the mystery weapon with a miniature atom bomb. Closer to home, the president stages an explosive hoax to justify evacuating Washington, DC. But as zero hours approaches, Stark realizes that it might already be too late, and that he will bear the terrible responsibility of leading the United States into the ultimate confrontation.