Come and Find Me
  • Come and Find Me
  • Come and Find Me

Come and Find Me

3.8 19
by Hallie Ephron
     
 

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Computer security expert and reformed hacker Diana Highsmith has not ventured beyond her home for more than a year—not since that fateful climbing vacation in Switzerland took Daniel's life. Haunted by the sound of Daniel's cries echoing across the gorge as he fell, Diana cannot stop thinking about the life they'll never have—grief that has transformed

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Overview

Computer security expert and reformed hacker Diana Highsmith has not ventured beyond her home for more than a year—not since that fateful climbing vacation in Switzerland took Daniel's life. Haunted by the sound of Daniel's cries echoing across the gorge as he fell, Diana cannot stop thinking about the life they'll never have—grief that has transformed her into a recluse.

Diana doesn't have to shut herself off com­pletely from the world, though; she and Daniel's best friend run a thriving Internet security company. From her home, in her pajamas, Diana assesses security breaches, both potential and real, and offers clients a way to protect themselves from hackers—the kind of disruptions Diana herself used to create. Once Diana has a game plan she is able to meet with clients in OtherWorld, an Internet-based platform, using Nadia, an avatar she created for herself. Diana knows she'll have to rejoin the "real world" eventually, but right now a few steps from her door each morning is all she can handle.

When Diana's sister goes missing, however, she is forced to do the impossible: brave both the outside world and her own personal demons to find her sister. As one step outside leads to another, Diana soon discovers that she is following a trail fraught with danger—and uncovering a web of deceit and betrayal, both online and real-life, that threatens not only her sister's life, but her own.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Trite characters and turgid plotting undermine Ephron's second stand-alone suspense novel (after Never Tell a Lie). Computer security expert Diana Banks, two years after the death of her husband, Daniel, in an alpine climbing accident, flounders through Otherworld, a place on the Internet that offers her virtual refuge, in the guise of her cyber avatar, Nadia. The disappearance of Diana's lovely hypochondriac sister, Ashley, forces Diana, Xanaxed to the gills, out of cyberspace and into a frantic search for Ashley that spirals into an ambivalent romantic betrayal. In exploring the dangers of Internet existence, Diana concludes with contemporary feminist logic that she'd mistakenly allowed herself to depend so much on Daniel she'd lost her very identity. Philosophic hints that the Internet's promise of unlimited freedom has turned into a "playpen for Big Brother" may strike some readers as facile, while for others the combination of chilly cyberspace and overwrought romantic suspense simply won't compute. (Apr.)
Library Journal
After the traumatic death of her husband, Diana becomes a hermit, existing solely in an online virtual world called OtherWorld. As her alter ego Nadia, Diana, a former computer hacker, runs an Internet security firm with her husband's best friend. Her sister, Ashley, is her only link to the outside world; when Ashley disappears, Diana must step outside her triple-locked and alarmed door for the first time in almost two years. Relying on her online contacts, Xanax, and courage, Diana sets out to find her sister. In a sometimes implausible and rapid plot, Ephron (Never Tell a Lie) details a fascinating online world full of hackers, computer codes, avatars, and complex deception. Ephron's characters are compelling and the narrative swift and flowing. VERDICT This quick read will satisfy fans of James Patterson, Iris Johansen, Mary Higgins Clark, and other authors of light suspense.—Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ
Kirkus Reviews

Book critic Ephron writes about cyber security and the ultimate betrayal in her second novel (Never Tell a Lie, 2009).

Diana Banks interacts with society in an online world peopled by virtual friends and acquaintances. Even in her job as a cyber-security consultant, Diana attends business meetings held in virtual conference rooms in the persona of her avatar, a woman she calls Nadia. Her preference for the virtual world grew out of the panic attacks Diana began experiencing after her husband, an idealistic hacker named Daniel, fell to his death. The accident took place when the couple was mountain climbing in Switzerland with Daniel's best friend, Jake. After Daniel, who was obsessed with disrupting what he saw as over-intrusive government, died on Eiger, Jake and Diana invested the life-insurance payout into a legitimate business. Now, instead of hacking into companies' databases, they detect intrusions and guide companies through security fixes. One of the few people Diana still sees from the real world is her younger sister Ashley. While visiting with Diana, Ashley decides to accept an invitation to a flash event in the city and go in Diana's place. Ashley then disappears, setting Diana on a frantic search to find her, aided by an online buddy she's never before met in person, as well as her own intricate knowledge of the way virtual worlds operate. While Diana confronts her fears of the outside world through the haze of grief that remains following her husband's death, she also realizes that whatever happened to her sister wasn't really about Ashley, but about her. Eventually, Diana must find a way to conquer her twin demons of panic and anxiety and pull the plug on a conspiracy that could have far-reaching consequences. Ephron dresses up a paper-thin plot with lots of cyber jargon and an impressive understanding of how hackers work, but the characters remain flat and unengaging.

A light, pleasant-enough read, but the story fails to develop any real momentum, and there is little suspense in this tale of a woman who barricades herself from real life.

Mystery Scene
“Psychologically astute and emotionally gripping . . . Ephron understands that the fears we inflict upon ourselves can be more crippling than a man with a gun . . . A unique and compelling novel to be read more than once.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A compelling yarn of deception and danger . . . a cautionary tale about the power of information technology . . . And although this novel seems to be a stand-alone, readers can hope that a sequel is not out of the question.”
Bookreporter.com
“Propelled me from first page to last in a single sitting.”
Times Leader
“Ephron excels in creating an authentic view of an agoraphobic for whom the mere thought of walking down the driveway to the mailbox can immobilize her . . . Diana’s emotional fragility gives a unique perspective to this character’s psyche.”
Connecticut Post
“Explores the dark side of cyberspace . . . Although COME AND FIND ME is at its core a breathless thriller, Ephron also explores the issue of personal identity in an age when we can pretend to be anything we want to be online.”
Time Magazines Leader
"Ephron excels in creating an authentic view of an agoraphobic for whom the mere thought of walking down the driveway to the mailbox can immobilize her . . . Diana’s emotional fragility gives a unique perspective to this character’s psyche."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061857522
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/22/2011
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.98(d)

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