Newest Review: ... using the information we all transmit into the ether, from our computers. Because of the vast knowledge accumulated on the victim, ... more
A phreakishly good read
The Blue Nowhere - Jeffery Deaver
Member Name: Charris2002
The Blue Nowhere - Jeffery Deaver
Advantages: Strong, Structured Storytelling
Disadvantages: It'll leave wanting more from these characters
Jeffrey Deaver is an author who has rapidly gained a following to challenge more established authors such as Thomas Harris, and Jonathan Kellerman. In this latest paperback release, he takes us into the nebulous and rather sinister Machine World.
The main protagonists in this novel are a pair of wizards - brilliant computer experts, hackers at opposite ends of the 'art':
Our hero, Wyatt languishes in jail when we first meet him, deprived of his liberty and of all access to his addiction, the world wide web or machine world as it's known in such circles. Unsurprisingly, he's serving a term for illegal access, download and erasing of some source codes thus contravening the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. However, he is given a chance to redeem himself when he is asked to assist in the investigation of a murder of a web site host (having seen some websites, I do have a certain degree of sympathy, but the perpetrator takes it a bit too far). This murder is only the first.......
Our villain in the piece is Phate, an outstanding social engineer (i.e able to build flawless identities, assume a range of personas, backed up by unimpeachable computer based records) who is totally unable to function in the real world, but is a flawed and feared genius (or psychopath?) in the machine world. Unfortunately, he regards human life as worthless, no more than an extension of the machine world and his actions are based upon a sick online world (Access) in which the aim of the game is to murder, for points, a series of preferably high profile figures, by gaining access to them and stabbing them through the heart.
Both are masters of their, art but with one crucial difference - our hero does it for the challenge, our villain does it because his real world is a shell, and the machine his only real existence. How many people do you know how are online morning, noon and night? You never know, they may have been Deavers' inspiration
There is a psychopathic social engineer out there, bringing death to random online users who are merrily pounding away on their PCs, totally unaware as they surf that their every keystroke is being watched. Phate has created the perfect programme, one that allows him to gain full access and control over their PC - Trapdoor. As with most serial killers, he has an agenda and strikes on pre-ordained days...I'll let you find out the significance of these for yourself. Not only this, but he is a genius at cracking so called impenetrable systems, as is our hero. Of course, there has to be a bit of history to make things that bit more interesting, and this isn't the first time Wyatt and Phate have come up against one another....but who will be the final victor?
Twists and turns
One of the scary things about this novel is that nothing may be what it seems. Imagine someone who knows everything you do, everything about you, your fears, your hopes, your social engagements - this person would have countless opportunities to engineer an a seemingly innocent encounter with you, convince you that you have actually met before and gain confidence. Scary stuff indeed! Imagine someone who could alter any records held about you - the potential for mischief would be immense. Your credit rating? Your career records? Your tax returns? Your criminal (or not!) record? A few keystrokes and your best friend wouldn't trust you, wouldn't know you, probably wouldn't want to know you!
By playing on our fears of an unknown manipulator (ooh errr missus lol), by showing us that maybe, just maybe, the scenarios and situations in this book could happen, and by laying down so many red herrings that even Poirot's little grey cells would sizzle like a burnt out processor, Deaver has crafted a thought provoking novel of high tech murder, dysfunctional hackers and crackers and a thumping good read.
This review has also been seen on Ciao under my name MarkKerr
Summary: One of Deavers' best !!