Note: This is a Part 3 of the prequel to THE RUNNING MATE, with many of the same characters, and occurs 4 years earlier.

We pick up events and multiple story threads as they continue into Christmas and follow Sam Houston St. Clair as the days run out before the new Congress convenes to name the new President. 

But before he returns to Washington, Sam has to bury Sofia. Bedelia Vaughan never leaves his side, knowing she will likely be Sam's First Lady if he's the new President. 

Observing all this is Eve Harrington, who wrangles an invitation from Norwalk to return to Washington with Sam aboard Air Force One. 

Derek Gilbertson has to balance Vlad Kucherov's increasing bossiness as they prepare to transfer the $27 million to the Bahamas. Watching from the sidelines is Cuban government operative Fernando Pozo, who doesn't trust the Russian. 

Meanwhile, Lord Ellsworth sets in motion the plan he concocted with Russian Ambassador Kornilevski to hire an assassin to remove Hawkins from the equation, thus ensuring the election for Sam. 

All 7 books in the Keystone series come to a head at midnight on New Year's Eve.