Air Force Security’s Ed Grable listens as Tusker, head of a Washington DC research firm, tells him a blackmailer threatened an employee. Coincidentally, Tusker mentions he received an odd request from the CIA. With the case in Grable’s hands Tusker drives to his home on Chesapeake Bay for a lazy evening with his wife Cleo. It ends with a chilling call: “Mr.Tusker, there’s a dead man in your company’s parking lot.” The victim is the man who threatened Tusker’s employee. His death is ruled natural, but Tusker sees evidence a device in his own lab created the fatal brain lesion and tells Grable “I killed him.” He instantly regrets the slip afraid Grable, aware Tusker was far away when the blackmailer died, will tell others that Tusker, in one place, can commit murder in another. Tusker and Cleo, seeking advice, are followed to rugged West Virginia where, with the help of trusty confidants, they ambush their pursuers. The disarmed men confess they are assassins, planted in America and ordered to kidnap Tusker by the same people who recruited them on an Afghan battlefield in the early 1980’s. Clue by clue, Tusker and his hard nosed crew close in on traitors who plundered US foreign aid, built an illicit army to enrich themselves, and are now holding Cleo as a pawn. The world follows the climatic battle on TV as Tusker leads a bold attempt to rescue Cleo and contain the conspirators whose heavily armed terrorists have turned suburban Washington into a burning battlefield.