I just finished rereading this suspenseful thriller by Jeffery Deaver. In The Blue Nowhere , convicted hacker Wyatt gets released from prison to help the Computer Crimes unit track down a hacker who is murdering people. The full blurb reads:. To stop him, the authorities free imprisoned former hacker Wyatt Gillette to aid the investigation. Teamed with old-school homicide detective Frank Bishop, Gillette must combine their disparate talents to catch a brilliant and merciless killer. As they get closer to the killer, and Wyatt figures out he used to know him, things get a lot more suspenseful.
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How do you write a truly gripping thriller about people staring into computer screens? Many have tried, none have succeeded—until now. Leave it to Deaver, the most clever plotter on the planet, to do it—by simply applying the same rules of suspense to onscreen action as to offscreen. Much of the action in this novel about the hunt for an outlaw hacker turned homicidal maniac does takes place in the real world, but much else plays out in cyberspace as a team of California homicide and computer crime cops chase the infamous "wizard" hacker known as Phate.
The odds run against the cops. With his skills, Phate can not only change identities at will a knack known as "social engineering" in hacking parlance but can manipulate all computerized records about himself. The cops have a wizard of their own, however: a former online companion of Phate's, a hacker doing time for having allegedly cracked the Department of Defense's encryption program. He's Wyatt Gillette, coveting Pop-Tarts the hacker's meal of choice and computers, but also the wife he lost when he went to prison—and it's his tortured personality that gives this novel its heart as Wyatt is sprung from prison, but only for as long as it takes to track down Phate.
The mad hacker, meanwhile, no longer able to discern between the virtual and the real, has adapted a notorious online role-playing game to the world of flesh and blood, with innocent humans as his prey. As he twists suspense and tension to gigahertz levels, Deaver springs an astonishing number of surprises on the reader: Who is Phate's accomplice? What are Wyatt's real motives? Who is the traitor among the cops? His real triumph, though, is to make the hacker world come alive in all its midnight, reality-cracking intensity.
This novel is, in hacker lingo, "totally moby"—the most exciting, and most vivid, fiction yet about the neverland hackers call "the blue nowhere. May 4. During the Covid crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.
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The Blue Nowhere – Jeffery Deaver
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The Cybersecurity Canon: The Blue Nowhere
When a sadistic hacker, code-named Phate, sets his sights on Silicon Valley, his victims never know what hit them. He infiltrates their computers, invades their lives, and lures them to their deaths. To Phate, each murder is like a big, challenging computer hack: every time he succeeds, he must challenge himself anew— by taking his methodology to a higher level, and aiming at bigger targets. Desperate, the head of The California State Police Computer Crimes Division frees Wyatt Gillette, imprisoned for hacking, to aid the investigation — against the loud protests of the rest of the division. But with a merciless and brilliant killer like Phate in their cross hairs, and his twisted game reaching a fever pitch, they must utilize every ounce of their disparate talents to stop him. Search Site.