To this reader, two of the scariest book and life scenarios are that of cybersecurity and cyberterrorism. Richard Sandford in his novel The Soul Snatchers has achieved both scenarios.
The time is the near future. The locales include the San Juan Islands in Washington State, Seattle, Portland (Oregon) and the Bay Area of California. The social media on the Internet has taken over people’s lives. All around the world are cases of humans doing completely inexplicable things – murders, suicides, other acts of mayhem.
Tzaro Janssen is a seismologist living on Orcas Island in the San Juans. His girlfriend Therica starts to exhibit some of the strange behavior. Then she disappears at a peace rally. Checking her computer, Tzaro finds a subliminal clue in her social media website. Not knowing what it means, he enlists the aid of Walter, a Native American friend and mechanic and Morgan a friend of Therica who is visiting. Together they take a boat to Seattle where they meet Calvin Carmody, a professor of Ancient Languages at the University of Washington (a former professor of Tzaro).
Carmody is able to decipher part of the mystery and suggests they go to Portland to talk to Wes an old school computer programmer. To get there, they enlist Svetla a Bulgarian born Guber driver (think Uber). Wes suggests that they go to the Bay Area to talk to Silicon Valley programmers he knows. What they discover is truly an amazing operation.
The story is part mystery, part science fiction (or is it?). A very enjoyable and quick read.
GO! BUY! READ!
–Jim Harris, retired book sales rep
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