While running tests on a popular microprocessor, gifted chip designer Ethan Alon makes a puzzling discovery: an undocumented section with unknown functions. Ethan and his friend Rina Hardin crack the encryption and discover a clandestine network monitoring defense systems around the world, but especially focused on the Middle East.
With the help of military analyst Barrett Parker, they discover the program is the work of scientists from Project Flower-an actual Israeli-Iranian missile program from the 1970s. These scientists came to mistrust politicians and generals and designed a system to prevent or at least limit wars. Their program is astounding, but it has a flaw-the Samson Heuristic.
The flaw becomes apparent when intelligence operations come undone and overtax the system. American, Iranian, and Israeli militaries are on high alert, and war seems imminent. Ethan and Rina race to fix the Samson Heuristic while in a Tel Aviv command center-under the noses of generals who know nothing of Samson. Meanwhile, Barrett and like-minded analysts build opposition to war from inside bureaus in Washington and Jerusalem.
The future of the Middle East lies in the balance.