Richard North Patterson uses his mastery of characterization and suspense to give us a story of startling realism and originality--an extraordinary novel of presidential politics. In the year 2000, Senator Kerry Kilcannon's insurgent campaign against Vice President Dick Mason has come down to the last seven days--the time remaining until the California presidential primary. Whoever wins in California is likely to win the Democratic nomination, a prize that the Vice President is determined to deny Kerry at any cost. And for all the votes and enthusiasm his passion and personal magnetism have gained him, Kerry's problems are formidable. He is haunted by the tragedy of his older brother, James, a presidential candidate who was assassinated in California twelve years earlier. Kerry has stumbled in his advocacy of abortion rights, and a right-to-life fanatic has pushed this explosive issue to the forefront by murdering three people at a women's clinic. In addition, a journalist for a national newsmagazine is striving to verify the lethal story that, two years ago, while still married, Kerry had a secret love affair with Lara Costello, a reporter assigned to him on Capitol Hill. And now, even more threatening, Kerry is being stalked by the abortion-clinic murderer himself.