Four days of global tension in early March, 1953. The rapid-fire events take place right after the discovery that Stalin is dying. First, a Polish Air Force pilot defects in a new MIG-15 on Danish soil. An American patrol plane is then shot down inside Germany after violating Czech airspace. . . followed by the downing of a British bomber by the Russians inside the Berlin corridor. Although the U.S. government obviously has its hands full, Ike initiates an ill-timed SAC exercise (Operation Midnight Thrust) to test whether our East Coast defenses can be penetrated. Numerous complications ensue--a Soviet executioner dispatched to silence the Polish ""traitor""; frightful weather conditions to jeopardize the massive bomber mission, etc. Those able to juggle around simultaneous crises will be kept on their toes. A very busy first novel.