David Coburn: working undercover, but profiting from the activities of the remote outpost he is supposed to have infiltrated.
Hari Tan: sapphire trader turned modern-day pirate preying on shipping in the Malacca Strait.
Heather Cameron: UNICEF nurse struggling to prevent the exploitation of children on a beach of toxic waste.
Luther O'Halloran: nuclear defence analyst on assignment to the US National Counter-Proliferation Centre.
These are the four people whose futures hang in the balance when the crew of a Russian supertanker are found dying of radiation poisoning. There is a conspiracy so menacing that unless Coburn can halt an attack on a warship in the Yellow Sea, the US will be forced into conflict with an enemy having a nuclear arsenal that this time will be frighteningly real.