matthew mather

Review of ‘CyberStorm’

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Thanks to the Internet, the world is interconnected. But, like anything, there’s a dark side to it; it means that the world’s infrastructures are vulnerable to attack on an unprecedented scale.

When multiple cyber-attacks combine with a mother of a winter storm, New York City is cut off from the rest of the country, and Mike Mitchell finds that he must rely on himself and a few friends to survive the chaos that ensues.

CyberStorm by Matthew Mather is a dark, apocalyptic story of how a few individuals contend with global events that seem beyond their control. While I found some of the international events hard to reconcile with what I know of the world after thirty years as a diplomat, the author does a good job of weaving them into a chilling narrative. The portrayal of individual reactions to events is, if anything, less dysfunctional than they’re likely to be in real life, but in many cases I think the author got how people react to disaster spot on.

The key to a good thriller is that it makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next, and this book scores well on that point.

I received it as a gift. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Darknet’

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Jake O’Connell left a life of crime for the life of a successful Wall Street broker, but when his best friend is murdered, and his boss is arrested for fraud—claiming that a large hedge fund company is framing him—his life is turned upside down. At the same time, Jin Huang, a Chinese-American computer expert accused of illegal hacking in the U.S. who is now forced to work in Hong Kong, finds strange connections between deceased wealthy Chinese and financial transactions. When her cousin, who was investigating these strange occurrences, dies in a freak elevator accident, she is accused of killing him. She then finds herself on a target list generated by a dark web organization, a crowd-funded murder collective known as Assassin Market.

The lives of these two are entwined as they discover a global conspiracy that appears to be run by an extremely sophisticated AI that controls one of the world’s richest companies.

Set in the present day, Darknet by Matthew Mather is a chilling tale of a world that is threatened by human greed and the tendency to put too much faith in soulless machines. It starts on a high note and rises to a startling conclusion that will leave you breathless, and not a small bit leery the next time you insert a credit card into a computer-based reader. The human characters are richly detailed, but the most frightening character is the machine that lurks in the background.

I couldn’t put this one down until I’d finished it. Five stars for a fantastic read.