I'm a Tom Clancy fan (at least his early stuff, before he disavowed editors). Let me see if I can imitate him.
Nick Glenn, a young outsider CIA analyst, sees a troubling pattern. International leaks and campaigns of misinformation are coming at an alarming pace from unknown sources. First a weird campaign in England to break with the EU gets sudden boosts from unsourced, untrue media reports. Next comes an election in Germany, with the moderates losing to a right-wing party for the first time in decades.
Working closely with a good buddy at the NSA, Nick discovers that all of the misinformation campaigns originate in Russia. He sounds the alarm bell, and his report goes up through channels - but not fast enough.
All this happens in the shadow of an interminable American election cycle. One candidate, a former Secretary of State married to a known philanderer, had previously denounced the most recent Russian election as being rigged. Her party's national headquarters is hacked, and the most damaging emails (nothing illegal, but a few that are scandalously personal) are slowly leaked at strategic times to the US press. It even appears that their headquarters has been bugged.
Nick checks to see if the other party is being hacked as well. This candidate is a second generation billionaire, a TV personality with a penchant for young women and high living. His campaign is marked by nativism, racism, and economic doomsaying.
Nick finds no trace of hacking, but he comes up with something strange. A server in a Russian bank is regularly communicating with an old server in the billionaire's Manhattan tower. Nick can't discover what those communications are, but it isn't random. And when alerted to Nick's investigations, the server shuts down - only to have a new server start up and begin the exact same process with the same Russian bank.
This information is taken to the FBI, but is ignored because the NY office is riddled with investigators who are more interested in sinking the former Secretary of State than in some unsourced CIA nonsense about Russia and servers. It's up to Nick to find the answers - even if it means working outside the chain of command.
Beginning with a single piece of intelligence, Nick uncovers a plot meant to unravel Western alliances, destabilizing NATO, the European Union, and the United States government, all to return Russia to the glory it recalls from the height of the Soviet Union.
It's too late to help England or Germany. But can Nick expose the plot in time to save the American election?
AMERICA FIRST by David Blixt