The book begins in New York City, Christmas time 1999, Andy Sutherland and his wife and daughter are enjoying a business pleasure trip. Dr. Sutherland has written a report on Oil for a mysterious conglomerate and is in New York to deliver it. His daughter a young girl of 11 or 12 accidentally opens the door to the room next to her father's and sees four men. The men decide to let her go thinking she will not remember the incident due to her young age.
Shift to the present 8 years later. Jenny Sutherland is preparing for a job interview in Manchester, England, Andy is in Iraq, Lenora is away at college and Jake the son who was born after the New York trip is 7 and away at prep school. The family since the New York trip has slowly broken apart, mostly due to Andy's obsession with Peak Oil and what the loss of oil will do to the world if we run out.
The same day an attack is orchestrated on the oil fields of the Middle East, Venezuela, the straits of Harmouse, and Africa. At the same time Lenora has e-mailed her father saying as an afterthought that she has seen one of the men who was in the room that day. A contract is taken out on her and the horror begins.
As the whole of England is shut down and riots and civil war breaks out in the Middle East we see Jenny and Andy trying to return home to the children, the children trying to get home from school and survive and the killer, trying to find them all.
The book has a large cast of characters, good guys and bad guys, the story line examines the family bonds and what is really valuable and how far any of us will go to survive.
The book has lots of action (the entire book with the exception of the first chapter takes place in a 7 day period) and struggles to survive.
The book is written in England with an English author and as such English laws and mores apply. In England no one except the police and army usually have guns. It drives home that without something to protect yourself with you are at the mercy of a mob. The book describes what could happen if some group decided to cut off oil to the world and its consequences. How prepared are we to survive without the basics.
This is an exciting well written book