Dirk Pitt, whose NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) managed to Raise the Titanic, is on another futurist salvage operation. This time it's an Air Force Stratocruiser carrying 36 Doomsday bombs (primed with quick-death germs of unbelievable potency), that crashed into an ice-covered Colorado mountain lake and sank circa 1954. Now it's 1988, and Dirk locates the missing ship by accident during a pastoral tryst with a Congresswoman. But, lo and behold, when the plane is dredged to the surface, eight of the bomb cannisters are missing. Someone has already found the plane and sold some of the bomb shells to . . . South Africa--the whites have planned to discredit the Black African Army of Revolution by arming a battleship with blacks, sailing it 75 miles up the Potomac, and firing on the Capitol! Among the shells on the battleship, they have two of those Doomsday bombs, although they don't know these are germ warfare missiles. But Dirk knows! And the President knows! And pretty soon the statue of President Lincoln knows--when a shell rips apart the Lincoln Memorial. And so it goes, as your eyeballs dry up with disbelief. But there is an audience for this sort of utter balderdash, and Cussler--though this time he hasn't got a socko grabber like the Titanic--knows how to raise it.