The violent death of a journalist leads secret agent Gabriel Allon to Russia. But this is not the grim Moscow of Soviet times, but a new Moscow, awash in oil wealth and in thrall to a new generation of rich Stalinists plotting to challenge an old enemy: the United States. One such man is Ivan Kharkov, a former KGB colonel whose global empire is built on a lucrative and deadly business. Kharkov is an arms dealer - and he's about to sell Russia's most dangerous weapon to al-Qaeda. Unless Allon can learn the time and place of delivery, the world will suffer its deadliest terror attack since 9/11. The countdown to Armageddon has begun.