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Dr. Cameron Talbot has invented a breakthrough technology to defend against cruise missiles. But she needs support from skeptical company officers, funding from a reluctant Congress, and help from the White House to develop her life-saving project. Lt. Col. Hunt Daniels, detailed from the Pentagon to the White House National Security Council to investigate Dr. Talbot's work, sees the potential of the invention. The fact that he's attracted to the brilliant scientist adds one more dimension to his interest in her work. But disaster is brewing overseas as militants in the disputed Kashmir region of India steal a series of missiles from sympathizers in the Pakistani military and launch one against India. At the same time, they send one of their agents to Washington, D.C., to steal Dr. Talbot's technology so they can protect themselves when their enemies retaliate. The scientist and the NSC staffer find themselves enmeshed in terrorist plots and political wrangling at the highest levels. With scenes in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Capitol Hill, Georgetown restaurants, and Washington dinner parties, as well as action in Kashmir, New Delhi, and at the Taj Mahal, the tension and intrigue escalate until two nuclear-armed countries stand at the brink of war.