Ralph Dempsey is an expert in the field of nuclear weapons. Married and father of two boys, he’s always had a better rapport with warheads than his family. As the lead scientist of a U.S. expedition to Kazakhstan, with orders to disarm the former Russian province’s nuclear arsenal, Ralph is very much in his element. When the world’s largest hydrogen bomb is accidentally armed and ready to vaporize half the state, Ralph is the right man at the right time in the right spot. His “battle” with the big bomb is sure to go down as a nuclear legend.
Once back home in Houston, Ralph quickly discovers that a changing world can have a fallout all its own and no less lethal. He and his wife, Barbara, have been estranged for some time and eventually, their marriage reaches critical mass. She leaves him, filing for divorce. Ralph’s oldest son, Chris, moves to Alaska, blaming him for everything. Only the younger son, Brian, stays with his father. But the hits just keep on coming as Ralph is told his job is being eliminated.
Then it all happens with the speed of a collapsing house of cards. Ralph is broke. He loses his house, his car, his motorcycle, and his position as lead scientist at a prestigious nuclear laboratory. The only job this once prominent scientist can find is, at best, a menial one. But his past is about to catch up with him and when it does, it rocks Ralph Dempsey’s world to its foundation. It all starts with an early morning phone call and a threat. One of the world’s most powerful arms dealers is holding his son Chris as a hostage. If Ralph does not help him recover a hydrogen bomb the U.S. Air Force lost in Alaska in January 1963, the boy will die. Anxious and dreading the worst, Ralph leaves to save his son. His younger son, Brian, a very resourceful and fearless boy of 15, is told to stay at home, but fearing the loss of what is left of his family, he has no intention of staying behind alone. He follows his father to Alaska and the Dempsey family is off on the adventure of a lifetime.
With the help of the local Iñupiaq, Ralph Dempsey and his sons take on an army of mercenaries, a hydrogen bomb, unforgiving terrain, and a ruthless villain who will stop at nothing to sell nuclear weapons to an enemy that will threaten the world. With the odds profoundly against him, and time running out fast, Ralph Dempsey must risk his life over and over again to save his sons, to redeem himself and to save countless millions from a fiery death.