The opening stages of the Third World War are more confusing and terrible than those of any war in history. Hundreds die in the Indian Parliament in Delhi. The President of Pakistan is assassinated. A US military base comes under an unprovoked missile strike. US President Jim West soon discovers a chilling link between these attacks. He tries to forge a path of peace, knowing that if he chooses confrontation thousands will be killed. Mary Newman, his young and brilliant secretary of state, disagrees. She is convinced that America needs to attack - and swiftly. No one is yet aware that the war has already begun. One by one, the very powers West has counted as allies become enemies, and the comfortable lives of citizens in affluent societies - perhaps typical of readers of this book - are about to collapse in physical and emotional devastation. Jim West finds himself fighting a war of a ferocity and scale previously unknown. Detail by authentic detail Humphrey Hawksley captures the ominous feel of a world heading towards its own destruction.