Searching for a treasure on the River Niger, Dirk Pitt thwarts the attempted assassination of a beautiful U.N. scientist investigating a disease that is driving thousands of North Africans to death. The suspected cause of the raging epidemic is vast, unprecedented pollution that threatens to extinguish all life in the world's seas. Racing to save the world from environmental catastrophe, Pitt and his team run a gauntlet between a billionaire French industrialist and a bloodthirsty West African tyrant. In the scorching desert, Pitt uncovers the truth behind his life-long quest - the fate of a Civil War ironclad. Now, amidst the blazing, shifting sands of the Sahara, Dirk Pitt will make a desperate stand -- in a battle the world cannot afford to lose!