James W. Huston takes the hottest issue of our time—the War on Terrorism—and explores it with a compelling, stay-up-late thriller filled with high-stakes courtroom drama, white-knuckle in-the-cockpit flying, and the shadowy world of American Special Forces operations.
Lieutenant Kent "Rat" Rathman is back. In the middle of the desert, in the dead of night, Lieutenant Rathman parachutes with his Special Forces team into Sudan, where an arms merchant is selling weapons to Wahamed Duar, the world's most wanted man in the ongoing War on Terrorism. Duar escapes, but a key member of his organization is captured. Determined to find Duar, Rat uses questionable means of persuasion to uncover his whereabouts and the information leads to his capture. But the man he brutally interrogated later dies as a result on a U.S. Navy ship.
Washington is thrilled with Duar's capture, but a slick European lawyer with the International Criminal Court asserts that Rat violated international law and fundamental human rights. The Secretary of Defense sees an opportunity to gain political ground against his rival in the National Security Agency by taking her friend Rat down a notch; he decides to throw Rat to the wolves. Rat is arrested and put on trial for torturing a prisoner and violating the Geneva Convention. As he goes on trial for war crimes, Wahamed Duar begins his own trial, the first major tribunal conducted by the military to take place aboard the USS Belleau Wood. Duar may be a prisoner, but he still has big plans. According to the National Security Agency, his network appears to be involved in an attempt to gather radioactive cores from abandoned Russian nuclear generators for use in a dirty bomb.
As the parallel trials begin to boil, Duar's men prepare to strike. But is it Duar who is actually on trial? And who is gathering abandoned nuclear cores in the Georgian Republic? Only Rat can put the pieces together, but can he protect the United States from the impending attack while defending himself in a secret courtroom on the top floor of the Department of Justice?