Katherine and Xing find themselves in the custody of extra-legal U.S. intelligence operatives in this sequel to Denial of Sunlight. Their detention could become permanent but for a chance meeting with Davis and Ellis, two members of the Special Forces team that carried out Operation Sunlight Denial, as they also exited China. Katherine calls Senator Arthur Greyson's office when she is mistakenly given a brief window of access to communications. During the call she talks to Larry Williams, a young and committed staffer, securing a second link to the free world that is yet unaware of the role played by the U.S. in the Sichuan Earthquake of 2008. The attempt to keep Jim Newberry and Barry Phillips, CIA analysts whose work was pivotal in setting the covert mission in motion, isolated from any information about Sunlight Denial backfires, as Jim's new position at the CIA exposes him to clues about the real cause of the Sichuan disaster, and Barry's position in the Vice President's Office brings him into professional contact with Larry Williams. The quest for the truth is met with a determined effort by the outgoing Administration to kill everyone with kwledge of Sunlight Denial in what becomes a race for survival. As the facts come gradually to light, a new Administration must shift some valuable time away from the global financial crisis to deal with the emerging truth, the full exposure of which could develop into an existential threat of even greater magnitude.