The US President, along with most of the Cabinet and Congress, is dead. Dazed and confused, the man who only minutes before had been confirmed as the new Vice-President of the United States is told that he is now President. President John Patrick Ryan. With stunning force, Ryan's responsibilities crush on him. He must calm an anxious and grieving nation and all while attempting to reconstitute a Cabinet and a Congress with the greatest possible speed. But that is not all. Both within Washington DC and across the globe, there are those eager to act on the animosity towards the United States, and others from Jack Ryan's past that harbour a grudge towards the new President himself. Soon they will present Jack Ryan with a crisis so big even he cannot imagine it.