A raid on a Pakistan Al-Qaeda cell recovers two laptops. When the computers' booby-traps are defused and the computers decrypted and translated, they indicate that Al-Qaeda has planned a series of simultaneous attacks in five U.S. cities involving potential dirty bombs, biological weapons and maybe even a nuclear weapon-on Election Day. Derek Stillwater, troubleshooter for the Department of Homeland Security, is assigned to a multi-jurisdictional Special Terrorism Activity Response Team (START) to locate the weapon and terrorists in Los Angeles and prevent the attack. They have two days. But as they close in on their targets, Derek begins to think that the intelligence they gathered is a sideshow to distract them from the real target-one of the two candidates for President of the United States.
Terry mashes the action pedal to the floor in his solid fourth Derek Stillwater novel (after The Fallen), then attempts to keep the plot and characters on the road as they careen down the thriller mountain. Derek, a Homeland Security agent, joins a team investigating a terror threat against five major U.S. cities set for election day in November. Not someone who works well with others at the best of times, Derek's dismayed to be partnered with nuclear weapons expert Cassandra O'Reilly, with whom he's had a rocky former personal and professional relationship. They have two days to locate the Pakistani mastermind behind the planned attacks, former art history professor Miraj Khan (aka Kalakar). When a final target looms in Kalakar's sights, Derek's efforts to thwart this attack provide the novel's exciting conclusion. Readers will have little time or inclination to search for subtleties as they happily race along with the indestructible Derek.