Kate Adams is a college professor.
Her area of expertise is finance. Her area of operation is Alaska.
She finds herself involved in the world of cloaks and daggers when her husband, who was working on something he had not explained, died under mysterious circumstances and her desire to learn more lands her into considerable trouble. That fellow, Max, had been a "software engineer by trade" who "also worked as an adjunct professor accompanying a group of Master's degree student on an educational tour of Asian financial markets". She was told very little about his disappearance in Singapore and even less about how he died. She didn't even have a body to bury, just a box of ashes from the cremation done over there before she was told.
But back to her being a professor in Alaska, to hear her very disappointed mother, Adams had such a wonderful life ahead of her with "offers from Georgetown and UCLA" after getting her doctorate but she "had to have an adventure and run off to take a job at the University of Alaska" where she was going to stay just a couple of years but has been there for ten. To her mom she had thrown away her opportunities. To Adams, she had met the man of her dreams and fallen in love with the state and could not have been happier.
And as far as loosing opportunities, her mother chooses to ignore the fact that Adams' star is still pretty high up in her field of economics when invitations to fly to D.C. to lecture at think tanks and the like on a wide range of financial issues. She is quite well known and well thought of in the federal government circles.
Which will come in handy when she starts to question her husband's activities and his demise and finds she needs some powerful help. Unfortunately, her actions will not go unnoticed by people who would rather she not ask such questions.
Luckily for her she is aided in these matters by an old boy friend, Brad, who works for the CIA.