Microbiologist Michael Cochrane has been murdered. His brother, Paul, wants to find out who did it and why. It's clear that Michael was working with cyano-bacteria, the bacteria that crack water molecules and release free oxygen. It's less clear why this would get anybody killed.
Accompanied by a beautiful industrial spy, Elena Sandoval, Paul follows the trail from California to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Along the way, the truth emerges: Michael had found a way to get cyano-bacteria to crack hydrogen out of simple water molecules, producing enough hydrogen to cleanly power the world, practically for free. No wonder everyone, from Middle-Eastern heavies to hired domestic muscle, suddenly seems to be trying to get in Paul and Elena's way.