The Strait of Malacca lies between Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s the busiest shipping lane in the world. And for as long as anyone can remember it’s been a nest of pirates. In the Age of Sail they’d swarm over the side, armed with knives and cutlasses. These days they’re using modern methods. One of them Michael Prasetyo, a man with a business degree from Wharton and a bad attitude has made some frighteningly ambitious plans.Captain Andrew Warner is bringing the USS Cushing home from the Persian Gulf on a course that will take it right through the Strait of Malacca. The Captain’s got a lot on his mind. The Cushing’s a good ship, a Spruance-class destroyer: lean, fast, and armed to the theeth, with a few Special Weapons in its hold. But the Strait is always dangerous territory, chancy to navigate; and there’s a major typhoon coming its way. Worse, the Cushing’s been assigned to carry a batch of Tigers civilians, family members of the officers and men from Diego Carcia in the Indian Ocean to Yokosuka in Japan.Meanwhile the Royal Australian Navy, wary of potential danger in the waters to Australia’s northeast, has been keeping tabs on the Malacca Strait pirates. Then a source passes on a startling story about an Indonesian pirate who plans to capture a US destroyer and might actually succeed. At moments like this the RAN has its own people who can be counted on to deal with any situation. They can’t afford to have nuclear weapons falling into the hands of pirates and terrorists. They’ll see to it that that doesn’t happen even if, in a pinch, it means the loss of an American ship.The long-gathered storm breaks over the Cushing, and under cover of that storm an ambush explodes around its ears. Boarded by pirates, unseen by satellites, cut off from its battle group, the ship blunders, almost out of control, through the shallow reef-strewn waters of the Strait.The sailors and civilians on board the Cushing are on their own. They’ll have to contend with their enemies and with the sea itself if they ever want to see home again.