1954 Vixen 03 is down. The plane, bound for the south Pacific and bearing several canisters of a particularly virulent organism, vanishes. Believed ditched at sea, Vixen has in fact crashed into an ice-covered lake in Colorado.
1988. Dirk Pitt, on holiday, discovers remnants of Vixen 03. The lethal canisters are raised – but they’re not all accounted for. It turns out that two of them are in the hands of an African terrorist group. The group’s mission: to attack nothing less than Washington, D.C. The catch is that the group is not aware that it will be firing anything but conventional missiles. But Pitt knows – and so does the president of the United States. To complicate matters further, the World War II ghost ship bearing the catastrophic warheads up the Potomac cannot be blown out of the water. Pitt’s problems are compounded when he and his lady, a United States congresswoman, becomes the target of a vicious blackmail scheme. The climax is shatteringly unpredictable.