Published Feb 28, 2012
Trade paperback, 304 pages
Diana is a reformed hacker who hasn't left her house since her boyfriend, Daniel, died fifteen months ago in a horrific mountain climbing accident. She suffers from panic attacks and is only now making efforts to step out of her door from time to time. Along with her partner Jake, who was also Daniel's best friend, she runs an Internet security company from home. She meets her clients in OtherWorld, an online virtual reality platform where she lives as her avatar, Nadia. This whole concept of the story was so cool. It really made me see how people use dual identities and it exposed the dark side to cyberspace.
It's only when Diana's sister, Ashley disappears that Diana is forced out into the real world to look for her. She then begins to uncover that things are not what they seem. Throughout the novel, I was kept guessing who the bad guys were. I suspected, of course, but it became clearer as I kept reading. The plot is filled with twists and turns and I became more and more intrigued. I finished this thriller in two days.
I won't go into more details so as not to give away the story, but suffice it to say, this was a very good suspense novel. It deals with moral responsibility when tinkering with private information and the havoc it can wreak on society as a whole. We seem to inherently know the dangers of exposure of information technology but this novel shows how we ultimately have to trust the moral integrity of the gatekeepers of the Internet to safeguard it. Scary thought!
Ephron built unique characters and a solid plot that I think appeals to our attraction to social networking platforms. Diana was a strong character albeit her debilitating situation. Her grief was real and it permeated her life to the extent that it made her helpless. But this was also her strength because it showed her capacity to love. Her character showed that we can conquer our own fears if we set our minds to it.
The message that real life cannot compare with a virtual world is clear, no matter how exciting that virtual world can be. The ending was brilliant and left me wondering if there will be a sequel. This was a fantastic read that revived in me the desire to read good thrillers.
Note: This book is rated P = profanity for religious expletives and some crude language.
I will count this book toward the following challenges: Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge
For more reviews, please visit the TLC Book Tour page.
An award-winning mystery reviewer, Hallie Ephron is the author of Never Tell a Lie (a Mary Higgins Clark Award finalist that was also made into the Lifetime Movie Network film And Baby Will Fall) and the Edgar- and Anthony Award-nominated Writing and Selling Your Mystery. Ephron lives near Boston.
Connect with her: Website | Facebook
Reviewed by Laura
Disclosure: Thanks to HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
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