Invasion of Privacy, by Christopher Reich

Five stars

What if there were a supercomputer that could track the entire digital presence of any single person? What if it were in the hands of one man, using a single program? Such in the premise of the latest Christopher Reich novel. When FBI Agent Joe Grant and his confidential informant are murdered in rural Texas, his wife Mary is left with a number of unanswered questions. A cryptic voicemail leaves her confused, which is only exacerbated by its sudden disappearance from her phone. Working with what she recalls of the message, Mary seeks answers surrounding the FBI case on which Joe worked. Those within the Organisation stonewall her, which only adds to the mystery and pushes Mary to delve deeper. What she does not realise is that these inquiries have been raising red flags with Ian Prince, a multi-billionaire in possession of the greatest supercomputer of all time, able to track all minutiae related to a person’s digital footprint. With over ninety percent of the world’s servers and Internet-capable devices at his disposal, Prince will stop at nothing to cover up what he is doing while gathering information to expose his enemies. With the help of a disgraced reporter, Mary seeks to peel back the layers related to Joe’s case while dodging bullets (literally) from Prince’s team. As the exposure heats up, Mary will find help from an unexpected source close to her, who seeks to discover a mystery as well. Another must-read by this formidable writer, who grabs technology by the horns and leaves the reader in complete awe.

Reich finds himself at the centre of social commentaries with every novel he has released in the past number of years. Examining the Internet and wireless technology, Reich posits that nothing is safe and no shred of information can be protected with even the most sensitive of security software. Reich shows the lengths to which those with means can go and how a person’s online profile is more than a Facebook account or reservations through an airline’s database. With a powerful set of characters and a story perfectly paced to keep the reader on the edge of their seats, Reich perfects another one-off novel. Chills will likely appear down the reader’s spine during this aptly titled novel, turning us all back into Luddites.

Kudos, Mr. Reich for this wonderful piece. I am still in awe and wonder if I ought to be posting this review, for fear it may open a portal to further intrusions into my thought processes.