Expected publication: July 4th 2017 by Atlantic Monthly Press
I have read and reviewed many British crime writers because they have that thrill even without much action, and generating that feeling of thrill & noir through their words is a skill of few. Christopher Brookmyre brings that thrills back to me in his latest book, The Last Hack which is part of continuing series about a reporter Jack Parlabane.
Before getting into details, let me brief you about the story this book revolves around. Do not worry, no spoilers here. This story is told through the perspectives of Jack and Sam. Two interesting characters with a very different background and set of actions. Sam Morpeth has had to grow up way too fast, left to fend for a younger sister with learning difficulties when their mother goes to prison and watching her dreams of university evaporate.
But Sam learns what it is to be truly powerless when a stranger begins to blackmail her online, drawing her into a trap she may not escape alive. Meanwhile, reporter Jack Parlabane has finally got his career back on track, working for a flashy online news start-up, but his success has left him indebted to a volatile source on the wrong side of the law. Now that debt is being called in, and it could cost him everything.
Thrilling, isn’t it? What more thrilling I find are the real-time details from cyber hacking world that author feeds the reader. First few chapters are so hooking and exciting for me personally, that I could easily imagine when Brookmyre decipher the process of hacks. In between, he has mentioned real-time hackers as the infamous Sabu and hacking communities such as Anonymous, and LulzSec. This clearly reflects how well researched Brookmyre is whether due to passion and interest or due to duty of stating facts which is another question and only he can answer that. The plot clearly make sense with these details and with the set of actions following the point of views (POV) of both main characters which is how the plot moves forward.
One character I could relate to: Samantha. She is an example of struggling identity of a modern human with complete disconnect between the online personality and reality. Fascinating and engaging at the same time. This is a fast paced book and in no time you will be in the middle of the plot. But wait. There’s is still a something left. Even near the ending when I thought it is all over, it isn’t. The plot will surprise you from chapter 1, till the end.
This work is not a complete standalone story as the author provides some references from Jack’s distant past. However, the number of these references are minimal. You will be able to enjoy it even without the knowledge of Jack’s past novels. One additional thing might happen is that these references might hook you up to read any of the other 7 books in Jack Parlabance series.
If you have a weekend to spare, go for it.
4 out of 5
Note: I received this book from the publisher but that doesn’t mean my review is breaking any reviewing rules.
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