With Election Day looming on the horizon, President David Brenneman is rapidly losing ground in the polls. The mounting death toll in Iraq has tried the patience of the American people for too long, and the escalating situation in Iran seems to promise more bloodshed. Just when it seems the situation can’t get worse, a bombing in Baghdad leaves 19 American civilians dead. Although the Iraqi prime minister – the apparent target – narrowly escapes with his life, the effects of the bombing reverberate around the world as the country continues its slide into full-fledged civil war.
At first glance, the attack seems too sophisticated to be the work of the Iraqi insurgency. As the hunt for the true culprit begins, the president turns to the CIA and Ryan Kealey, a troubled young operative who, nearly a year after preventing a terrorist strike in Washington, D.C., is still working through his own tragic loss. Shortly thereafter, an unexpected break in the case takes place. In London, British-born analyst Naomi Kharmai stumbles onto an audio recording that brings shocking evidence to light: a ghost from their shared past has resurfaced in Baghdad, and he’s intent on finishing the work he started in Washington one year earlier.
Spurred on by the revelations contained in the tape, Kealey and Kharmai continue to dig deeper. As strange new connections emerge, the identities and motives of those behind the bombing begin to blur. When the pair learns that members of the Shiite-dominated United Iraqi Alliance have been invited to speak before the Security Council in New York, they instantly fear that the worst is yet to come. But even the halls of the CIA are no longer safe from espionage and treason. There is someone inside who wants the next attack to go forward, and as the opening session of the General Assembly draws ever closer, Kealey and Kharmai must discover who is with them and who is against them – before it’s too late.