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In the 22nd century, Earth enjoys a tentative peace thanks to a treaty between the United States and the Eurasian Coalition. The hallmark of this new world is the Phoenix Space Elevator, enabling quicker transport from Earth to near-Earth orbit. When saboteurs destroy the Elevator, the authorities activate their top counterintelligence agents, Claire Haskell and Jason Marlowe, to unravel the mystery of who has broken the peace. Williams's first novel delivers a powerful, rapid-fire sf adventure/intrigue story with echoes of cyberpunk. This stellar hard sf debut with hopes of sequels belongs in most sf collections.