Ronnie is a world-class hacker. She and her assistant, Quirk, specialize in hacking into the financial systems of wealthy, and corrupt, corporations, and redistributing their ill-gotten gains to the needy—after, of course, taking a modest commission. The Robin Hood Hacker is on the FBI’s radar, and FBI Special Agent Zachary Hunt has an obsession with nabbing this cunning criminal. When he finally comes face-to-face with her, and discovers that contrary to the FBI profile, the hacker’s a woman, not a man, and is not working alone, he fails to catch her, but the two establish an emotional connection that leads him to conduct unauthorized communications with her for months.
The Hidden Hand, an ancient, super-secret terrorist organization is planning a replay of the plague pandemic, this time using an engineered version of the bubonic plague, to rid the world of unbelievers. Frustrated by its inability to crack the organization’s communications code, the government turns to Ronnie and Quirk for help, and uses Zachary as a conduit to her. What follows is a stunning tale of adventure, danger, intrigue and betrayal that will keep you feverishly turning pages.
Robin Hood Hacker Collection by Carolyn McCray is a collection of short stories, novellas, and a novel, that introduces Ronnie, Quirk, Zach, and his techno-geek side kick, Warp, and follows them through a series of harrowing adventures as they chase, and are chased by, the Hidden Hand. Though a bit heavy on the global pandemic aspect, this is nonetheless a fascinating tale—or series of tales—that fans of techno-thrillers will enjoy.
I give it four stars.
If you were disturbed by The Da Vinci Code, I strongly advise that you skip 30 Pieces of Silver by Carolyn McCray. The story begins with an explosion at the Eiffel Tower that uncovers a group of strange skeletons, which gets archeologist Dr. Rebecca Monroe involved in a search for the body of Jesus, and leads to a deadly chase and more discoveries that have the potential to shake the very foundations of Christianity.
McCray writes this alternative version of religious history, the relationship between Jesus and Judas with skill and authority, switching back and forth between the present day and biblical times as Monroe becomes immersed in a search for truth—truth that powerful figures will do anything to circumvent. A word of caution to anyone who has made it past the first two chapters, it is a work of fiction, and does not insult any religion; but, it does call into question many cherished beliefs that will disturb many.
Powerful characters and vivid descriptions of modern and historical scenes bring the story to life and the authoritative writing makes it possible for anyone with an open mind to suspend disbelief and acknowledge that this is at least a possible interpretation of historical events, no matter how improbable.
It had a few typos, but they didn’t detract from a good story. I give it four stars.