Matthew Palmer returns with another gripping, all-too-real thriller deeply entrenched in real-world global intrigue and international politics, this time examining the world’s most dangerous yet overlooked nuclear threat—war between India and Pakistan.
Sam Trainor had once been a whiz kid with a bright future, but a career of overseas work coupled with a penchant for being an outspoken iconoclast has once again left him on the outside looking in. Now he’s moving over from being the top South Asia expert in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence & Research to doing identical work as a contractor—for twice the pay—at Argus Systems, a Beltway Bandit consulting company with a lucrative contract to provide the federal government with intelligence and analysis on the subcontinent. But Sam soon discovers that for all their similarities, the government and private consulting companies have vastly different motives. As he struggles to adjust to a more corporate, profit-driven version of the work that had been his life, he stumbles across an anomaly in the intel—the transcript of a phone conversation discussing the fastest ways to upend the delicate political balance keeping India and Pakistan from all-out war. Only he knows that conversation couldn’t have occurred because, among other things, he is having an affair with one of the participants. As he digs into the source of this misinformation, he realizes that more is at stake than just bad intel. Someone is deliberately twisting the intelligence to stoke the simmering conflict between India and Pakistan, nuclear-armed rivals that have already fought multiple wars. And Sam’s new employer could be up to its neck in it.
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