There is less oil than the world requires, and that will make some people rich and others dead. Career CIA field operative Bob Barnes is sorting out his midcareer issues--his bosses want him quietly confined to a desk job. Bryan Woodman, an expatriate in Geneva, becomes the financial adviser to idealistic Gulf Prince Nasir. Corporate lawyer Bennett Holiday is finessing the questionable merger of two powerful U.S. oil companies. In Prince Nasir's country, meanwhile, young Pakistani laborer Wasim succumbs to the lure of radical Islam, seeking refuge from the dusty oil fields and crowded hostels in the tranquility of a madrasa. In the labyrinthine, interconnected worlds of espionage and politics, international finance and law, oil and radical Islam, motives and convictions can shape lives, or destroy them.