A team of Iranians armed with nuclear weapons sneak into the US, unaware that their plan to bring America to its knees by nuclear blackmail has been co-opted by the Soviets. A couple of very real and very likable FBI agents and their top-flight police-work are the anchors that keep this bombs-and-terror epic from drifting off into fantasy land. The agents ate Scotty Coldsmith, a smart greenhorn in New York on his first assignment, and J.J. Carteret, the bureau's man in the big, sleepy, tidewater region of North Carolina. Unaware that they are after the same band of Iranians, Coldsmith and Carteret follow the trails of terrorists entering the country at opposite ends of the Atlantic seaboard. With the Ayatollah's blessing, the Iranians plan to salt the country with hidden nuclear bombs. What the Iranians don't know is that the Soviets have listened in on the planning and have their own Gorbachev-endorsed scheme to turn the Ayatollah's blackmail into an opportunity for Russia to seize control of all of southwest Asia. Mikhail Gorbachev has bought into a KGB scenario that sends a team of their own agents to assure that the Iranian bombs go off. The Iranians chase across the country from Boston to Washington to St. Louis and points west, unaware that they are being followed by the FBI, who are unaware that they are all being chased by the KGB. Comparisons to Tom Clancy's techno-epics are bound to fly, since this is another whopper full of old-fashioned Soviet treachery and high-tech thrills, and the hype is already knee-deep. But Randall's more substantial characters do lift this thriller above the ordinary--all the way to a crackerjack climactic disaster scene at the Hoover Dam.