In this latest Matt Moretti-Han Li thriller the clandestine unit known as Nemesis, a joint Chinese-American off-the-books organization, is faced with its first challenge just minutes after it’s activated by the presidents of the United States and China. Their first assignment is to find and retrieve two aging Soviet nuclear weapons that were smuggled into China to destroy its major cities and are on a countdown to detonation. They soon learn that the face behind this act of terror is Awalmir Afridi, the former leader of the Protectors of Islam, who the world believed to be dead following a US and China cruise missile attack that decimated his strongholds. Helping Afridi is a wealthy Saudi businessman and member of the royal family. When the Saudi government discovers what’s happening, they fear the retribution that would follow. Lacking the resources to retrieve the weapons on their own, they inform the Russian and Chinese governments separately that they’ve uncovered a terrorist plot to smuggle former Soviet nuclear devices into China. Because China is economically critical to Russia, Putin is determined to retrieve the weapons and deny that former Soviet nuclear devices were ever held by terrorists. To accomplish this, he sends a war-hardened colonel, Vasily Kvachkov, to do whatever it takes to get them back from fanatics who’d rather die than surrender them. The problem is, he no idea where they are. As Kvachkov and his men covertly enter China, President Liu of China turns to Nemesis to retrieve the nuclear devices, thereby unknowingly placing them on a collision course with a Russian colonel who has a reputation for never coming in second.