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The President of the United States was assassinated two years previously and the Vice President had filled the vacuum. Investigations by several government agencies pointed to Chinese involvement, though no hard evidence exists. When news of the findings are leaked the American public is about evenly divided between those who want to return the favor and those who want to nuke the Chinese Capital. The new President has very few options. He has to take some action in retaliation but he does not want to risk a nuclear exchange with the Chinese. His solution is to place trade sanctions on Chinese goods and try to hurt them economically. Even two years after the fact feelings still run high concerning the U.S. response. Clyde Nolan is a reporter for the Washington Post and one of his sources has given him the name of four Senators with the request to check them out. When Clyde asks him what he is supposed to look for he is told that he will learn in due course. When the source calls the next time and requests a meeting at a desolate farm house outside D. C. Clyde has some misgivings but goes to the meeting anyway. He finds his source dead and still doesn't know what the meeting was about. As he becomes more deeply engrossed in the matter he learns that his snitch was actually a member of Homeland Security and takes his knowledge to them. Since he knows more about what Greg Mansfield was working on before his death than anyone else he is asked to join the Homeland Security team to try to figure out the reason. After a list of highly influential businessmen is found in the house where the murder occurred and two attempts on Clyde's life he starts to put the pieces of the puzzle together and concludes that the group plans to detonate a nuclear bomb in the Shanghai harbor while the Chinese Premier is there. Lots of action and an unusual conclusion.