Former DOJ cybercrimes prosecutor Chris Bruen walks into a dark apartment in Amsterdam to confront a hacker known as Black Vector. The hacker has stolen the source code for the world’s most ubiquitous operating system, which powers everything from personal computers to the NSA’s data centers. This should have been a routine assignment for Bruen, but instead of obtaining a confession, Bruen finds the hacker’s dead body and uncovers a hidden flash drive that contains the code for a remarkably sophisticated computer virus known as Lurker.
Upon his return home to San Francisco, Bruen finds himself the target of a shadowy group of hackers who plan on unleashing Lurker, which will bring a major US city to its knees in seven days. Bruen doesn’t know why he’s the target, but the answers seem to lie somewhere in his troubled past. Suddenly, Bruen is framed as the planner of the cyberattack, making him the top suspect in an international manhunt. Bruen must stay ahead of the FBI and CIA in a race across Europe while he tries to decode the virus, find the hackers, and clear his name. With the lives of tens of thousands of people hanging in the balance, and his own life about to be destroyed, Bruen must go beyond the brink to stop the hackers.