Lawyer and former senator Ben Kincaid is meeting with the president when Washington suddenly explodes into chaos. A fanatical foreign dictator has hacked into the U.S. nuclear defense system and now has a finger on the trigger of America's most dangerous weapons. Kincaid is whisked, along with the president and his advisors, to an underground bunker, but the president seems to be falling apart under the pressureand the vice president wants to strip him of his powers. While Kincaid scrambles to defend the president, CIA agent Seamus McKay races through Washington, searching for a hidden command center that now controls U.S. ballistic missiles. As McKay and Kincaid move closer to uncovering a world-shattering plot, the ultimate act of betrayal is launched from the heart of the American capitol itself.