Jack Henderson wrote an ebook, it sold respectably and he then found a publisher. The publisher put the book out in hardback and I picked it up for free in the “omg we can’t sell this cr&p, please just take it” box outside a charity shop.
In the US the book was called ‘Circumference of Darkness‘ but the UK title was ‘Maximum Impact’. Neither title really has much to do with the plot.
The back of the book describes the plot as “In 1993, a legendary hacker brainstorms the ultimate terrorist attack in a members-only online chat room. On September 11, 2001, he sees his dark vision materializing into a murderous reality. Jeannie Reese, lead designer in the US government’s Total Information Awareness program, begins a high-tech pursuit of this mythical figure of the Internet underground. But the hunt soon leads Jeannie down an alarming trail of revelations: the terrorists are gathering again and a massive follow-up attack is coming, designed by the most formidable mind she’s ever encountered”.
The reality is it basically ‘Hackers’ with a conspiracy theory about September 11th and some homegrown militia joining up with the non-homegrown baddies.
Which runs the risk of offending some people and confusing others – making me wonder who is the target audience?
The chat room part of the book is formatted as an IRC conversation – which was personally a blast from the past from the time of my life where I dabbled with coding and absorbed information about hacking, cracking and Kevin Mitnick’s favourite Social Engineering; however this was probably wasted on the majority of the book’s readers who probably hoped this was like an accessible Tom Clancy book.
There were a few other mild techie bits – very mild and certainly too mild to make this book an entry in the underloved techno-thriller genre – some of which were just silly and some of which would bore non-techie readers… which might be why my parental unit didn’t get on with the book (earlier today they needed to be talked through how to “print screen” which gives a clue as to the technical prowess).
The action is pretty limited, the characters are two-dimension and clichéd. Additionally the writing is really amateur at points, to the degree that you can tell it is an ebook.
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