The Blue Nowhere will forever change the way you feel about your computer.
Jeffery Deaver, bestselling author of The Empty Chair and The Bone Collector, now turns to the labyrinthine world of cyberspace -- a world where safety is elusive, appearances are deceiving, and the most powerful can lose their wealth, their minds, their lives with a hacker's touch of a button.
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 -- with chilling precision -- 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, with 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. With an obsession emblematic of hackers, Gillette fervently attempts to trace Phate's insidious computer virus back to its source. Then Phate delivers a huge blow, murdering one of the division's own -- a "wizard" who had pioneered the internet -- and the search takes on a zealous intensity. Gillette and Detective Frank Bishop, an old-school homicide cop who's accustomed to forensic sleuthing, at first make an uneasy team. But with a merciless and brilliant killer like Phate in their crosshairs, and his twisted game reaching a fever pitch, they must utilize every ounce of their disparate talents to stop him.
Hot on the trail of the New York Times bestseller The Empty Chair, The Blue Nowhere once again demonstrates that Deaver is "the master of ticking-bomb suspense" (People). It is a truly stunning tale of suspense in the computer age.
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." Agent, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May 4) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . Broken writers' rules
Posted August 23, 2010 by constant reader , upstate nyDeaver can, and has, done much better. Among other things, authors should not attempt to write: 1) Stories whose background (they feel) must be explained in detail to the reader (e.g.,how computers work). 2) About people of a kind of whom they know few (e.g., computer programmers in general, particular types (e.g.hackers), etc.) - the ones they know may not be typical or even remotely representative. 3) Stories with so many twists that these confuse the story line. 4) Stories requiring definitions of every acronym, abbreviation, tech term, etc. BTW, keyboarding, even excessively, does not callous the fingertips.
2 . Gripping Book about Hacking (Fiction)
Posted November 28, 2009 by Ingo Lembcke , Hamburg-GermanyThis is a real good book (fiction) about a few hackers. While it shows at times how old it is (BBS, AOL), I found it accurate and the methods are described without the usual mistakes. There is also a good balance between the computer-word and real-world, and a lot of action. The writing style of Deaver may get on your nerves after a few books, as it is obvious what to expect, but once in a while it is very gripping. There are only few fiction books I would compare it too, to mind come Rudy Rucker: The Hacker and The Ants (there is V 2.0 available) and Neal Stephenson: Snowcrash - but both books touch a wider range of problems, going in to SF and deep philosophical questions, so maybe the comparison is not entirely fair.
It is definitely not boring, and has a few pages in front with a collection of terms and abbreviations, explained. This should help a novice, so you do not need much or even any computer-knowledge to enjoy the book.
Simon & Schuster
February 26, 2002
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Excerpt from The Blue Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver
The battered white van had made her uneasy.
Lara Gibson sat at the bar of Vesta's Grill on De Anza in Cupertino, California, gripping the cold stem of her martini glass and ignoring the two young chip-jocks standing nearby, casting flirtatious glances at her.
She looked outside again, into the overcast drizzle, and saw no sign of the windowless Econoline that, she believed, had followed her from her house, a few miles away, to the restaurant. Lara slid off the bar stool and walked to the window, glanced outside. The van wasn't in the restaurant's parking lot. Nor was it across the street in the Apple Computer lot or the one next to it, belonging to Sun Microsystems. Either of those lots would've been a logical place to park to keep an eye on her -- if the driver had in fact been stalking her.
No, the van was just a coincidence, she decided -- a coincidence aggravated by a splinter of paranoia.
She returned to the bar and glanced at the two young men who were alternately ignoring her and offering subtle smiles.
Like nearly all the young men here for happy hour they were in casual slacks and tie-less dress shirts and wore the ubiquitous insignia of Silicon Valley -- corporate identification badges on thin canvas lanyards around their necks. These two sported the blue cards of Sun Microsystems. Other squadrons represented here were Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Apple, not to mention a slew of new kids on the block, start-up Internet companies, which were held in some disdain by the venerable Valley regulars.
At thirty-two, Lara Gibson was probably five years older than her two admirers. And as a self-employed businesswoman who wasn't a geek -- connected with a computer company -- she was easily five times poorer. But that didn't matter to these two men, who were already captivated by her exotic, intense face surrounded by a tangle of raven hair, her ankle boots, a red-and-orange gypsy skirt and a black sleeveless top that showed off hard-earned biceps.
She figured that it would be two minutes before one of these boys approached her and she missed that estimate by only ten seconds.
The young man gave her a variation of a line she'd heard a dozen times before: Excuse me don't mean to interrupt but hey would you like me to break your boyfriend's leg for making a beautiful woman wait alone in a bar and by the way can I buy you a drink while you decide which leg?
Another woman might have gotten mad, another woman might have stammered and blushed and looked uneasy or might have flirted back and let him buy her an unwanted drink because she didn't have the wherewithal to handle the situation. But those would be women weaker than she. Lara Gibson was "the queen of urban protection," as the San Francisco Chronicle had once dubbed her. She fixed her eyes on the man's, gave a formal smile and said, "I don't care for any company right now."