Nicolas Creel is the CEO of Ares Corporation, a major Defense Department contractor. In order to increase business he needs a new war, so he hires Dick Pender, a perception management garu, to create a cold war. Soon false news stories appear on the internet and produce a frenzy over Russian atrocities.
When a London based think tank, the Phoenix Group, is allegedly slaughtered by Russians, Creel hopes Pender can connect the murders to a Beijing government sponsored hit. His hope is that this will lead to immense profits made from a Russian-Chinese cold war.
An undercover operative A Shaw is outraged because his fiance died in The Phoenix Group mass murder. He joins forces with Katie James, a disgraced female journalist hoping to make her way back to the top. Together they work to uncover the whole truth and save the world from World War III.
This thriller has all the twists and turns, emotional drama, and unforgettable characters of Baldacci's other books. The plot never slows and works up to an exciting end. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it.