New York FBI counterterrorism agent Nathan Donovan receives a phone call from an eighty-year-old man named Li who has a story to tell a story too fantastic to believe but too terrible for Donovan to ignore. Li tells the story of Sato Matsushita, a brilliant bioweapons scientist, a man waging a personal war against the United States. His mission: to destroy America with bubonic plague, beginning with the city of New York. The old man has tracked Matsushita for six decades and across three continents because he, too, has a mission to fulfill: to stop Matsushita before he can strike and to settle an old score of his own. Li's lifelong search has brought him to the most powerful city in the world, a city of eight million souls, a city on the eve of its biggest celebration of the year: the Fourth of July fireworks display. Now Donovan and Li must work together to prevent a modern-day Black Death of global proportions. They must find the Plague Maker before it is too late for everyone.