al-Qaeda, under new leadership in Yemen, targets two US cities for coordinated attacks to be executed by two cells of resident US citizens. These cells are led by a bomb expert known only as The Engineer. Al-Qaeda intends to shred a fragile US economy and destroy citizen confidence in the government’s ability to protect them.
al-Qaeda asks the Sicilian Mafia to smuggle a container into New York City. Sicilian sources believe it contains arms, explosives, and nuclear material. The Mafia agrees to the shipment but only to learn enough about the attacks to prevent them.
Mark Patrick is a retired FBI agent and old nemesis of the Mafia. He agrees to a requested meeting where he learns the Mafia has modernized to survive. His contact is a ranking member who is a young, beautiful, and intelligent woman. She explains why the Mafia wants to furnish information to the FBI, through Patrick, in order to stop al-Qaeda. He agrees to their request. Patrick needs assistance which is provided by Liz Brennick, his wife, a former FBI agent and now successful Boston lawyer. They code name the Mafia source Vespa to protect her identity and her gender.
The government has no intelligence regarding this al-Qaeda threat. Patrick’s efforts come under fire by government bureaucrats, with personal control agendas, as well as by those who wish to see the constitutionally limited FBI removed from all terrorist investigations. Patrick is forced to defend himself publicly, avoid physical surveillance, and operate Vespa without disclosing her identity.
The Engineer has weapons, money, an organization, and a plan. As the investigation progresses at home and abroad, the threat level only goes up. The matter gets personal when Patrick suspects the location of one potential target.