Top positive review
Fortunately, this could not happen. Could it?
January 5, 2016
A science fiction thriller, or a technothriller, take your pick. There are two strands to the story. In one, Jake finds himself in a hedge fund responsible for his boss's questionable financial dealings, and for a mafia boss's money Jake's boss has lost. The police are after Jake, the mafia is after Jake, and Jake has no idea why. Then Jake gets a letter from his friend Sean, which contains cryptic clues. Something really bad is going on. Meanwhile, in China, something similar is happening to Jin. Gradually, we learn how to make sense of Jake's cryptic clues, and Jin finally makes it to America, to get closer to Jake's problem, which eventually they learn is mediated through the darknet, another part of the internet where almost anything goes. Amongst further problems for Jake is an upgraded Murder Inc, where rewards are posted for assassinations. Jake and Jin are designated targets.
The book is well-written, structurally sound, and moves with really quick action. The problem is novel, and more to the point, the attempted solution is rational, as is the response by the bad side. For me, there were only a few blemishes. The first is general; the evil side is so powerful and Jake and Jin have so few resources they both should die fairly early into the story. If Sean is going to send a letter, he should include a statement as to what the enemy really is. If a policeman stands five paces behind a bad guy with a pistol drawn and aimed, the bad guy either surrenders or is shot. It takes surprisingly little time to pull a trigger! Finally, the bad guys are so powerful that the ending needs something approaching deus ex machina to reach a conclusion. Nevertheless, this is a great story, well worth the five stars, and one of the clearly better thrillers I have read for some time.