Eight years ago, in Sun Valley--snowcapped playground for the wealthy and ambitious--all that stood between New York State attorney general Elizabeth Shaler and a knife-wielding killer was local patrolman Walt Fleming. Now Liz Shaler returns to Sun Valley as the crown jewel and keynote speaker for billionaire Patrick Cutter's world-famous C3, a media and communications conference where the richest, most powerful business tycoons converge. The attorney general, a political lightning rod, is expected to announce her candidacy for president. It's a media coup for Cutter--but a security nightmare for Walt Fleming, now the county sheriff. As C3 gets under way, authorities learn of a confirmed threat on Shaler's life, and various competing interests--the Secret Service, the FBI, Cutter's own security forces--begin jockeying for jurisdiction. Beyond the logistical nightmare that the conferences opulent extravagances represent for Sheriff Fleming, he must also contend with a raft of other local concerns: his troubled nephew's arrest, his wife's infidelity, the death of a socialite under suspicious circumstances, and a series of apparent maulings by an aggressive cougar. Each of these incidents comes to a head just as Shaler's assassin puts his chillingly precise plan into action.