Hundreds of people have gathered to watch the launching of the USS America—our newest and most sophisticated nuclear submarine. Then, the unthinkable happens: armed men emerge from the tugboat that is leading her to sea, board the submarine and man her controls. Half of the men on board are slaughtered and half are put out to sea. Before nearby destroyers can react, the sub disappears.
Admiral Jake Grafton is resting at his Delaware beach house when he is asked to find out who has stolen the submarine and why. He learns that a rogue CIA group, originally trained to steal Russian technology during the Cold War, may be behind the operation. And soon it becomes clear that, whatever their purpose, they mean business: within hours a missile launched from the submarine destroys the top floor of the White House and a second missile fells an airliner carrying 283 passengers. In this military thriller from Stephen Coonts, the race is on to find out where the submarine is, who is behind the nightmare scenario and—most critically—how to stop it.