Radar navigator Daren Mace has been to the gates of hell and back. In Operation Desert Storm he rightfully aborted a secret mission, only to be ostracized by the flying community as a result. Now Mace has a new role - in the Air Force Reserves at a New York air base, where he meets Rebecca Furness, the USA's first woman combat pilot. Known as the 'Iron Maiden', Furness is unlike any other aviator Mace has ever known - beautiful, tough and an ace flier.
When, halfway around the world, a border skirmish involving Russia, Ukraine and Moldova leads to low-yield nuclear devices being used, the new US president faces his toughest challenge yet. He puts the USA on full wartime-readiness footing for the first time since 1991 and sends an air combat force to Ukraine, just as the Russian president is making his own power plays. Suddenly Mace, Furness and the rest of their unit are hurtled into a dispute that goes beyond Ukrainian borders - a crisis that could lead to the horrors of all-out nuclear conflict.