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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Jeffery Deaver's The Blue Nowhere is a carefully researched, cutting-edge thriller set in the brave new world of information technology. In Deaver's version of this world, outlaw hackers dominate the landscape, and the most significant events take place in "the blue nowhere," the endless plane of pure data and electronic impulses commonly referred to as "cyberspace."
Deaver's hero is Wyatt Gillette, a legendary hacker currently imprisoned for successfully cracking security codes employed by Department of Defense computers. Wyatt is entering his third year in prison when relief comes from an unexpected direction: the California State Computer Crimes Unit. The leader of that unit, Lt. Thomas Anderson, has just encountered a whole new species of criminal, and finds himself in need of Wyatt Gillette's peculiar expertise.
The criminal in question calls himself "Phate." He is, in the common parlance, a Wizard -- a hacker capable of gaining access to the most restricted forms of data, while leaving no trace of his own identity behind. Phate has, for reasons of his own, begun to invade the private files of a number of carefully chosen victims. He uses this private data to infiltrate the lives of those prospective victims and then murders them one by one. Only Wyatt, himself a Wizard of comparable abilities, can discern the pattern that underlies Phate's apparently random brutalities. Only Wyatt has the necessary skills to track his fellow hacker down.
The result is a tense, immensely readable novel that is deeply rooted in the arcane realities of a constantly evolving technology, a technology that has altered the essential nature of modern life, creating a whole new breed of heroes and villains in the process. With great narrative assurance, The Blue Nowhere takes us into the arcane society of the 21st century hacker, giving us a unique -- and convincing -- duel between rival Wizards who are more at home in the world of information than in the quotidian world of mundane, three dimensional "reality." The result is a striking, state-of-the-art thriller that works both as a first-rate entertainment and as a cautionary tale about the dangers implicit in our ongoing love affair with the computer. (Bill Sheehan)
Bill Sheehan reviews horror, suspense, and science fiction for Cemetery Dance, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and other publications. His book-length critical study of the fiction of Peter Straub, At the Foot of the Story Tree, has been published by Subterranean Press (www.subterraneanpress.com).