By the year 2012 the U.S. will no longer be a world power. The world will have seen many countries deploy nuclear weapons. Anarchy will reign in many parts of the world and electricity will be considered a luxury nearly everywhere. That, however, is not the interesting part of the story. How we got there is a far more interesting tale indeed. Follow the story from post 9/11 to where it all went bad and see if you can find a way out, not just for yourself, but for everyone.
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CIA operatives, al- Qaeda terrorists, Neo-Nazis, unscrupulous IT consultants and bumbling bankers are all expertly portrayed in Roland Hughes' timely novel Infinite Exposure. Hughes, whose previous works have been in the IT field, has taken his intimate knowledge of the computer world and weaved it into a book that takes the reader into a frightening realm of possibilities where nuclear war is just one computer keystroke away.
Infinite Exposure opens in the Middle East with the interrogation of Nedim, a "good Muslim." Is he a terrorist or are those interrogating him the rebels? The answer comes quickly as the reader is shown the workings of an al-qaeda cell through the words and thoughts of Nedim. The action quickly jumps to those following the terrorists and then hops overseas to America where Kent, a naive director of First Global Bank and his savvy assistant Margaret are being wooed by Big Four Consulting. Along the way, Hughes introduces the Brit, Hans, and Nikolaus, a member of the Reformed Nazi Party, all of whom play important roles in the forthcoming meltdown.
As the plot builds, Big Four Consulting has convinced First Global Bank to 'off-shore' all of their IT operations as a cost savings measure. Kent, who is oblivious to anything related to IT, doesn't understand the ramifications and is only concerned with a possible move to a corner office. Soon, First Global has sold their data centers and outsourced to India, where workers are not vetted by the FBI, SEC, FDIC or other government agencies. With al-Qaeda lurking in the background, what will happen to sensitive data, such as credit card information, that is kept at these centers? Will terrorists be able to extract data to sell, thus making money to buy a cache of weapons and possibly even nuclear waste to build a dirty bomb?
Hughes has written a riveting story that looks at what could happen as more and more US businesses take advantage of cost savings by using off-shore companies to manage much
of their data. All too frequently, those with a scientific background tend to use a very concise, analytical style of writing which does not usually lend itself well to novels, but the author overcomes that with a fluid, easy style that builds believable characters and situations. Although there is a fair amount of technical information presented throughout the book, Hughes takes it down to the reader's level and although it may require the reader to slow down at these sections, it is certainly understandable.
Quill says: A mesmeric look at a possible world-wide terror attack.
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Roland Hughes's Preface in his book "Infinite Exposure" begins with "This book is a work of fiction. It uses many historical events, news articles, and company names to build a time line necessary for projection forward. Without using many of these actual names and quotes, it would be difficult to build the sense of realism that gives credibility to the outcome. There is no slander or malice intended. Indeed this book is intended to be a wakeup call for both an industry and a country." (p.7) Reading through the book, I found Hughes's writing to indeed be very close to reality. The occurrences in the book mimic existing situations in the world and the resulting consequences are not desirable by any means. The basic premise of Hughes's book is how developing data centers and sending IT jobs overseas is detrimental to the future of the world. The result of this cost-cutting measure is the biggest al-Qaeda attack in history, and nuclear war. As anyone who has ever called for technical support on a computer or other product knows, overseas centers are a current and prevalent fact of life. I could go on for pages and pages about what I think about overseas support centers but this is not the place for that. However, Hughes's fictional account of what the resulting effects of this money-saving action could be is a frighteningly realistic possibility. On the title page it is stated that, "The book is meant to be a warning of what very well may happen if policies, laws, and business directions are not changed quickly." I think that this book would be a relevant read to anyone who has ever pondered what the effects of sending jobs offshore may be and to those that have fears about the future of the world. Hughes does a great job of presenting a detailed account of just how everything may unfortunately play out. The writing is interesting and will definitely get the reader's attention and open their eyes to changes that need to be made. For those that are up-todate on current events, the scenarios presented in the book will hit all too close to home.
Hopefully the events that occur in the fictional "Infinite Exposure" will not become a reality in the not-too-distant future.
Reviewed by Kam Aures for RebeccasReads (2/09).
Nedim was a good Muslim but he wasn't a terrorist. At least, that's
what he told himself. It had all started so innocently. He needed a
computer to do his schoolwork. A friendly cleric wanted to help. The
only thing he asked in return was that Nedim send a few emails for
him, a couple of vacation shots, an embedded message here and there.
What could be the harm in that?
The next thing Nedim knows he's being questioned by an anti-terrorist
unit. The men asking the questions are playing for keeps. When they
ask for Nedim's help in locating terrorist nodules, it's obvious that
he has no other choice.
Infinite Exposure gives a balanced behind the scenes look at terrorism
and the war on terror. Not all terrorists are religion fanatics
looking to die for their cause. By the same token, often anti-terror
measures aren't all that civilized. The average person has no idea of
what's really going on or how far-reaching the implications.
Dr. Tami Brady
Recent world events, such as the threat of an al-Qaeda attack and the Wall Street meltdown, have left many wondering about the stability of the future. In his book, 'Infinite Exposure,' author Roland Hughes delivers a fictional story that exposes real life vulnerabilities.
'Infinite Exposure' tells a story about the events leading up to a major al-Qaeda attack that has a devastating global impact. Within the story, several international plots unfold and become entwined in a major al-Qaeda plot to steal money from one of the most powerful banks in the world. Kent Braxton, a CEO of First Global Bank in the US, is a young opportunist who is looking for a quick way to advance his career. He secures the services of Big Four Consultants to help migrate all of the bank's data centers to one central location in India. The purpose is to save the Bank millions of dollars which he hopes will result in a promotion. Kent knows nothing about IT and the risks associated with offshoring such a powerful international bank with branches all over the world. The result of the migration will be one third of the world's money supply will pass through the new data centre. The plot takes a turn when an al-Qaeda operative infiltrates the new data center and plots to steal all of the money. Meanwhile in America, a corporate shredder by the name of Lenny, implements a plan to illegally manipulate the bank's stock in order to make billions when the bank falls. A software company becomes involved in the deal which further complicates matters. As well, members of the Reformed Nazi Party become involved with the processing of captured al-Qaeda members by harvesting their organs and stem cells. The entanglement of the various plots results in a horrifying global catastrophe.
'Infinite Exposure' is a well written story that exposes serious flaws in the business of moving jobs offshore. The major focus of the story reveals how the current policies and practices of Corporations and Governments can have devastating global ramifications. Themes of greed, arrogance, and selfishness, predominate throughout the story. Hughes lays out a plot that entails how easy it is to manipulate stocks to influence the success or failure of a business. Through a diverse range of intriguing characters, readers will see how arrogance and greed can lead to devastating consequences, particularly Kent's emotional decline. Most notable is how CEOs lack IT understanding.
Hughes is able to successfully tie the plots together to create a page-turning tale of suspense. His technical knowledge and expertise add to the credibility of this type of event actually occurring. 'Infinite Exposure' is highly recommended to readers who enjoy high stakes suspense novels that reveal important messages about current world issues.
Tracy Roberts, Write Field Services
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January 30, 2009
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