A solitary man, intent on inflicting a major catastrophe on the United States in retaliation for the death of his wife and two children in a US bombing raid on his mideastern city of residence, has arrived in Canada surreptitiously on a small fishing boat. With the help of a Quebec Islamic militant group, he plans to cross the border into Vermont and hike the Appalachian Trail to New York. Jon Richards, a Homeland Security agent, has picked up hints from a myriad of web conversations between militant jihadist groups that a terrorist might have made it to the North American Continent. His instincts, usually reliable, convince him this is serious, but no one within the agency will believe his theory of a plot. He desperately connives to get permission to follow his hunch. Adam and Luke Langford from Livingston, New York have taken to the Appalachian Trail hiking north to escape from the police. Luke is being sought on suspicion of the murder of a small, sexually assaulted girl. Teri and Jim Collins, faculty members of Kensington college in Berkeley, are vacationing in Vermont hiking inn to inn. On several prior vacations, they have become entangled in a series of crimes not of their making. They are in hopes this will not happen on their current trip. Initially they find the scenery beautiful, the exercise stimulating, the meals delicious and most of the fellow hikers delightful companions. But suddenly Jennifer, daughter of fellow hikers Ted and Lisa Moore, has disappeared on the trail. Is Luke the culprit? The terrorist and his companion, the brothers trying to escape from the police, the kidnapped child's distraught parents, the young Homeland Security Officer and the various inn to inn hikers-all are on a collision course as they hike the trails of this novel.