Jack Reacher arrives in Atlantic City, New Jersey after hitching a ride with a couple of aging musicians. He is accosted there by Mary Ellen Froelich, a beautiful secret service agent who managed to track him down. She has a special request for him. She wants to know how he would go about killing the Vice-President-Elect. Countering those methods would help her considerably in her job of protecting the Vice-President-Elect. Reacher accepts the challenge and enlists old colleague Frances Neagley to help carry out the mission. Froelich asked Reacher's assistance on this matter because of suspicious threatening letters which had been sent to the Vice-President-Elect that had been intercepted by his protective team. Together, they attempt to find the ones responsible before they can carry out the assassination.