Murder, scandal, political espionage and an extremely dangerous woman. Lucas Davenport's going to be lucky to get out of this one alive. A Minnesota political fixer has hit the jackpot - or so he thinks. Hired to take down the incumbent U.S. senator with a vicious smear, to open the way for an ambitious, take-no-prisoners heiress who sees the Senate as merely a stepping-stone, he decides his payoff should be larger. The blackmail demand should yield some pretty large numbers, he thinks. Instead, he gets only a small one - 9 millimeters, to be exact. In the heart. Davenport is investigating the smear when the trail leads to the man's disappearance, then - very troublingly - to the Minneapolis police department, then - most troublingly of all - to a woman who could give Machiavelli lessons. She has very definite ideas about the way the world should work, and the money, ruthlessness and sheer will to make it happen. No matter who gets in the way.