It is 1944 and the war is not going well for the Germans. Their only hope, as the Reich has come to realize, lies in developing a nuclear weapon; but since the bombing of their heavy water installation in Norway, their efforts have lagged far behind those of the Americans. And so the U-boat approaching the Maine coast in the dark of a January night carries a very important passenger.
Baron Joachim von Niehauser is a Prussian nobleman, a man well-versed in the arts of war yet one on whom its ugly lessons have not been lost, a man distrustful of the Nazi regime but loyal to his country. His mission is a critical one: to make contact with a German spy placed long ago in the Manhattan Project, obtain the critical data, and get it out of the country and into sympathetic hands.
Chain Reaction is the chillingly suspenseful story of von Niehauser's desperate journey and his pursuit by FBI agent George Havens. Havens, too, is a decent man, one whose own vision of the war has broken under the pressure of his search across America for a brilliant and elusive quarry, a search that ends in a final, brutal confrontation on a winter hillside.