Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review of The Daemon

by Daniel Suarez definition: "A program that is not invoked explicitly, but lies dormant waiting for some condition(s) to occur"

The label thriller has been slapped on a lot of books lately. Good books that deserve praise, but are they thrillers? The term is often used to describe any fast-paced crime story that isn't a cozy or traditional mystery. So when a book comes along that fits the label perfectly, it's well, thrilling.

The Daemon, the first part of what is being billed as a two part novel, is a truly spectacular thriller. It's seat-of-the-pants, stay-up-late and can't-put-down reading at its finest. It's a high-tech thrill ride, scarier because it's all based upon ongoing research. This is not science fiction, though I see it labeled as such. It's more appropriately called a techno-thriller.

Matthew Sobel is a computer programming genius. When he knew he was dying of cancer, he set about creating a series of complex programs that would be invoked when his obituary was run in media outlets. The first program run is apparently to eliminate the people who were involved with him in creating the programs. It is the death of one of these men that brings Peter Sebeck a detective in to investigate. Another bizarre murder occurs shortly after and Sebeck is drawn further and further into Sobel's game while everyone scrambles to find out what is going on, then trying to stop it. Sebeck finds himself locked in a fight with Sobel and a growing legion of disenfranchised black hat hackers who use wit, cunning and social engineering to wreak havoc on a world that often doesn't have a clue.

If you love taut, nonstop suspense then pick up The Daemon. It won't disappoint. It just might make you think, too.

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