In this romantic thriller Cassie Young is a rising star at a prestigious energy consulting firm when she discovers secret files that reveal the truth about the world's oil supplies; and, it's not good news. Soon, she finds herself locked in a game of cat and mouse that places her career and ultimately her life on the line. After reading her story, you'll never think quite the same way about filling your gas tank. Cassie's transformation from one of the firm's true believers into a worried skeptic begins when she meets Victor Chernov, a former oil trader. Contrary to the public pronouncements of her firm and many official agencies, Victor says the world may start running dangerously short of oil the lifeblood of modern society within only a few years. In her search for the truth, Cassie uncovers evidence that convinces her Victor is right. But that evidence now makes her a target for those who desperately want to keep an unknowing world in the dark. A startling reinterpretation of contemporary events, Prelude follows Cassie to the Canadian tar sands; to the heart of Houston, the energy city; to an offshore drilling platform; and to the streets and suites of Washington, D.C. in a journey that unlocks the mysteries of a substance that the world cannot do without.