Baker Engineering, an old-line Pennsylvania company, is sold to a multibillion-dollar corporation headed by Jack Mannerman, the driven and driving executive of a global giant that is the idol of the financial markets. The Baker family’s motives are honorable, but are Mannerman’s?
H. A. Baker—Princeton athlete, war hero, big-game hunter—suspects Mannerman’s intentions and tries to hold the new owner to his commitments. But the key to the developments lies with Lucy Preston, Mannerman’s crack VP, a woman with a built-in reality check who finds it hard to resist Baker’s clear-eyed allure.
Baker disappears on a mercy mission in Africa, and then a series of grisly murders arouses terrible suspicions in Lucy, the only person in a position to make all the relevant connections. Will these gruesome deaths add up to a baker’s dozen?
Lucy joins forces with a clever film scout to ascertain the truth, and they are quickly caught up in a race against time: the conflict between Baker Engineering and Mannerman will soon climax, at a Christmas gala in Venice. Even the Pope will be there to help celebrate a jubilee for the most admired CEO in the world, and there Lucy must face the logical outcome of her worst fears.