Its 1956, and the cold war is hot. Hungary has just fallen, and Blackford Oakes is back from Budapest, puzzling over a betrayal and mourning a tragedy he couldnt prevent. But in Washington, all attention is focused on the race to put the first satellite in space. Ironically, Russia and America each have the secrets the other needs to succeed. The solution: kidnap a pair of extraordinary Russian scientists who can put the U.S. in the lead. Blackford Oakes is in charge, unaware that KGB spymaster Bolgin and a trio of vengeful Hungarian freedom fighters are hot on his trail. Oakes life and Americas future are on the line in this fastpaced thriller that is Buckley at his best.