Come and Find Me
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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

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.

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.

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."
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.”

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)

Meet the Author

An award-winning mystery reviewer, Hallie Ephron is the author of Never Tell a Lie (a Mary Higgins Clark Award finalist that was also made into the Lifetime Movie Network film And Baby Will Fall) and the Edgar- and Anthony Award-nominated Writing and Selling Your Mystery. Ephron lives near Boston.

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Come and Find Me 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Luv2Read27 More than 1 year ago
The book was entertaining. Very interesting twist at the end that surprised me - wich doesn't happen often! A quick read. I'd recommend this book to folks who like technology and mystery. I wouldn't classify it as a romance.
JR_Reardon More than 1 year ago
Hallie Ephron's "Come and Find Me" brings a modern technology twist to the classic mystery that we already love. A recluse coping with the death of her lover, hiding in the world of the internet, forced to venture out into the real world to find her missing sister..the pages turn almost as quickly as the click of a mouse on your computer. I definitely recommend reading this book - listen.it's calling.."Come and Find Me"!
Erin_N More than 1 year ago
Diana Highsmith is a reformed computer hacker. She has repented her ways and now uses her skills to help provide network security to corporations and government entities that she and her boyfriend previously preyed upon. With the help of her boyfriend's best friend, Jake, she is the founder and backbone of an up and coming internet security company called Gamelan. It almost seems like a fairy tale life.almost. Diana suffers from a severe case of Agoraphobia: she has not left her house in over a year.not since her boyfriend died in a terrible mountain climbing accident. She has lived in her sheltered bubble and has conducted all of her life's tasks, including business, in an online virtual world called Other World. But all that changes when Diana's younger sister mysteriously disappears while at the same time Diana discovers that someone has hacked into Gamelan to monitor her internet movements and render her company ineffective. Her safe world is no longer safe and even her virtual identity becomes compromised. In order to save her sister, her company, and her good name, Diana is forced to confront her fears, engage in the "real world," and embark upon mission that will both devastate and revitalize her life and future. Hallie Ephron promises a "novel of suspense" with Come and Find Me; a promise she successfully fulfills. Come and Find Me is an action packed story taking place in the modern technical world while at the same time taking place in the erratic world of the human mind. It is a story of love and betrayal, fear and courage, and the power of technology. Ephron's protagonist takes you on a journey through virtual reality and human fear in all its facets leaving you to wonder what is real.
LJBinNYC More than 1 year ago
Really--I read it in one sitting! Okay, it starts a little slowly, but once it takes off it zooms along and you zoom with it. Ephron has taken on (effortlessly, it would seem) a tragic love story (with a twist), panic disorder and agoraphobia, the wild world of cybersecurity and lowdown hackers, and lots more. And all of it works. She pays you the compliment of assuming you can follow her into a slightly intricate computer world--and you can! Spend some absorbing hours with Diana Highsmith, and you'll be rewarded by an exciting, smashing, roll-it-all-up ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put it down! You will enjoy it and i am already looking To see what esle this author has written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You've REALLY got to be into computers, hacking, avatars and other worlds etc etc to 'get' this book. The characters are shadows, the world is hazy and unimportant......the only reality for them is living in a virtual world in a room full of computers and electronic gagets. We all know someone who spends nearly every waking hour glued to a computer or a cell phone. Nuts.
BookReflections More than 1 year ago
After a traumatic, life-changing loss, Diana develops Agoraphobia (fear of going outside). While trying to work through her fears, Diana spends half her time working with her partner Jake on their new security business. She spends the rest of her time trying to navigate the internet world called the "other world." It is in this world that she can socialize and share her thoughts and feelings in way that she finds difficult in the real world. However, Diana soon fears that a hacker is targeting the customers of her business, fearing the worse she begins to investigate. Priorities soon shift when her sister, Ashley mysteriously disappears. Somehow, Diana must overcome her fears to get to the bottom of these events and save her sister. I really and truly enjoyed this read and actually completed the book in one sitting. The premise reminded me of the movie The Net with Sandra Bullock but it is certainly a bit more relevant to these times. Diana's agoraphobia was so crippling I felt that I was feeling the same fears. I was really rooting for her to overcome this huge problem. I thought I had all the answers figured out but I didn't get it exactly right and the parts I didn't guess were the most surprising and intriguing parts. I'm not sure if I ever truly understood the "other world" thing. I have my theories but my confusion didn't distract me from my interest in anything and everything to do with hackers. There is a bit of hacker jargon. I ignored what I didn't understand and was able to easily navigate the story. I think this one had a bit of a slow start but I absolutely recommend this to others who expect the unexpected. The premise and twists really kept me excited until the very last page. Since I can't describe how captivated I was by this read, I'll just have to tell you to give it a read.
Elizabeth2007 More than 1 year ago
Love this second book by Hallie Ephron. The world of virtual reality is the setting for a dynamic story of a woman beset by unusual fears but determined to defend those she loves. She is irascible, creative, and vulnerable--a compelling heroine.
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T_Jo_Kennedy More than 1 year ago
You'll want to read this thrilling suspense novel all in one gulp. Expertly plotted, the novel skillfully exploits many of the most up-to-date communications and surveillance techniques as well as old-fashioned tricky-tricks to tell this story of despair, trust and greed. Come and Find Me opens as Diana Highsmith has just taken a few tentative steps to conquer the debilitating anguish that has imprisoned her at home for more than a year following the death of her beloved husband Daniel. Trapped in a wrenching world of grief that has left her unable to even open the door to the UPS delivery man, Diana finds that the virtual world she thinks she can control has turned on her magnifying her fear and paranoia of the outside world. What is real? What is virtual? Where is Diana truly safe? An Internet security expert, Diane has survived these past months by three important links to the outside -- her business partner Jake, her sister Ashley - and her avatar Nadia Varata. Diana sends Nadia to virtual meetings and manipulates her avatar through a remotely-based system to grow Gamelin, the business that Diana, Daniel and Jake conceived just before Daniel's tragic death. Although still extremely vulnerable and tentative, Diana is emerging from her desolation when her beloved sister Ashley disappears forcing Diana into the outside world. She finds that facing the real world is frightening, but ultimately safer, than staying willingly-locked in the virtual cocoon she had made for herself. Come and Find Me is a fast-paced, compelling narrative utilizing the tricks and devices of the new world of inter-connectedness to move the story forward to a scary and surprising ending. You'll be fascinated and horrified at how unscrupulous manipulators - avatars and real humans as well - can track your every move, even when you're hiding under the blankets in your own room.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is another wonderful book by Hallie Ephron. The plot is interesting and unusual and deals with a plethora of psychological issues and complexities. Her writing style is crisp and clear and like her many other books , Come and Find Me has a swift plot, delves into fascinating well-rsearched topics and races to a surprise twist at the end. Moutain climbing, cyber worlds, avatars and loss...all written by a master writer. Enjoy!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Two years ago altruistic idealistic hacker Daniel Banks died in a mountain climbing accident on Eiger. His widow Diana and their best friend Jake opened up a computer security firm. However, she has not been able to move on as she suffers panic attacks when attempting to navigate the real world. Instead Diana prefers limited contact via Otherworld a virtual website where her avatar is Nadia; her only consistent live in person human contact is her hypochondriac sister Ashley. While visiting Diana, Ashley decides to attend an event in which her older sister was invited, but will not go. Ashley vanishes. Diana begins a quest to find her sibling via the virtual world and drugged to the max in the real mean streets as anxiety rips her stomach and panic attacks never cease. Mindful of Sigourney Weaver's character Helen Hudson in Copy Cat, Diana is an intriguing lead character as she suffers from agoraphobia but knows she must venture outside if she is to rescue her sister. Although the key element that she concludes is the cause of her condition is that she allowed her self to become Ms. Daniel so when he died her identity died too; however this fails to gel as this feels more like babble rather than a defense mechanism. Still readers will enjoy her tenuous efforts as she begins to believe Daniel was right that the government-industrial-financial complex controls cyberspace where the latest official shutdown is in Madison. Harriet Klausner
alistair_bernice More than 1 year ago
This a terrific thriller with characters that you really want to spend time with. It doesn't go anywhere you expect it to. I couldn't put it down!
mountainbookgirl More than 1 year ago
Hallie Ephron has a real knack for stories of suspense, trust and betrayal. This is one of those books that seems so simple to start with, then sneaks up on you. Love the twists -- you won't see the big one coming. Fun references to local Boston and near-Boston sites. All around, a winner. Loved it!
JaneBiddinger More than 1 year ago
We've all heard the adage "You can't go home again." In the case of Diana Banks this couldn't be truer. Panic attacks have kept Diana housebound since her husband's accidental death. When her sister Ashley disappears, it's up to Diana to find her. Diana musters the courage to leave the safety and security of her home only to find that going back is not an option. In "Come and Find Me" Hallie Ephron weaves a suspense-filled story of Internet intrigue, lost love, and personal perseverance. The plot twists and turned made it impossible to put down. Thank goodness for a snowy night. A great book club selection.