This is a story of revenge blended with a sadistic scheme to
manipulate a weak and flawed president. It concludes with a daring
rescue and a winner-take-all showdown between two warrior SEALs.
At 1:20 PM, the day before Thanksgiving, five men enter a Naval
Academy classroom and, identifying themselves as Navy anti-
terrorists, announce a security drill. Later that same evening,
the midshipmen are reported missing and their professor is found
with his throat slashed. No clues or demands are left behind.
It isn't until the following day that the reason for the kidnapping
is disclosed, when the first in a series of obscure, grisly
messages is sent to the U. S. ambassador in Cairo. An hour later,
the resident CIA agent in Rome is provided additional information
in the form of an ultimatum to be delivered to the President.
Finally, a Washington news reporter learns from an anonymous caller
that Iran is behind the plot and why.
Now, facing Iran's deadline to move all U.S. forces out of the
Persian Gulf and little else to go on, the Navy turns to Commander
Tom Sampson, head of the elite counter-terrorist Red Cell to find
and rescue the mids.
Among the kidnapped is Ingrid Lucerne, daughter of Marine Corps
General John Lucerne, the acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, and Russell Bennett, II, son of the chairman of the powerful
Senate Foreign Relations Committee and close political ally of
President Leslie Pickens.
With little to go on, Sampson assembles his teammates and begins
what seems to be an impossible task. Meanwhile, Pickens must
decide whether to yield to Bennett, whose goal is to ensure his
son's safe return at any cost, or heed the guidance of his senior
military advisor, the stalwart and uncompromising Lucerne, who
advocates duty to country above all else.
As the deadline approaches, Bull Dankworth, the malevolent
kidnapper and former SEAL, grows eager to settle an old score by
luring Sampson to him with a series of clues, some brutal, others
subtle. The pace quickens when a midshipman is found dead and Iran
mines the Strait of Hormuz.