May 1914. Two top diplomats hurry home by sea and rail, each carrying a document of world-changing importance. Then the liner Empress of India is sunk in a collision, and the Manhattan-Line express plunges from a shattered bridge - both dragging their VIP passengers to watery oblivion. Tragic coincidence - or conspiracy? Seventy-five years later, a chance revelation reopens the question. In the energy-starved fear-torn 1980s, those long-lost papers could destroy whole nations, and Dirk Pitt confronts his biggest challenge yet.