This takes place shortly after an earthquake has brought the Middle East together. But another crisis, designed to tear it apart, is on its way in a ship loaded with contaminated grain containing an especially virulent form of anthrax. The British, and in particular one Brevet Cable, are trying to stop it since it's their plague, stolen from the coast of Scotland. You have to take the plot with an uncontaminated grain of salt. And it's a bloody, bluddy book.