Devil's Plaything

Devil's Plaything

3.7 17
by Matt Richtel
     
 

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“Smart, captivating, sophisticated; I can’t say enough about this deftly told story.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor’s Tomb

“A brilliant thriller that defies genre and scope; a twisted blend of Michael Crichton and Alfred Hitchcock.”
—James Rollins, New York

Overview

“Smart, captivating, sophisticated; I can’t say enough about this deftly told story.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor’s Tomb

“A brilliant thriller that defies genre and scope; a twisted blend of Michael Crichton and Alfred Hitchcock.”
—James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of Altar of Eden

A Pulitzer Prize winner for Journalism in 2010, New York Times science reporter Matt Richtel delivers a phenomenal “neuro-tech” thriller about a dark and insidious plot to reengineer the human brain. Devil’s Plaything is smart, fast, and terrifyingly plausible—a page-turner of the first order from the critically acclaimed author of Hooked, whom author David Liss (The Devil’s Company) calls, “The absolute master of crafting amazing fiction around cutting edge science.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Richtel's deft follow-up to Hooked (2007), medical reporter Nat Idle thinks someone taking potshots at him and his beloved grandmother, Lane, in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, may be payback for his snide exposé involving city officials and torched port-a-potties. Further attacks and an encrypted flash drive from a scientist who subsequently disappears soon indicate otherwise, and Lane's disjointed statements related to a computer-assisted oral history project suggest that she may know more than she's capable of revealing about a larger conspiracy. Surrounded by dubious figures such as a mysterious venture capitalist, an anal-retentive nursing home manager, a neurologist with suspicious connections, and a colorful witch who reads people's auras, Nat is wary of trusting anyone and frantic for Lane's safety. Numerous plot twists and cliffhangers keep the reader turning the pages in this plausible if disquieting scenario of Big Brother not only watching but also messing with minds. (May)
Steve Berry
“This thriller pushes the envelope to the edge and beyond in exciting and unique ways. Talk about a buddy story: How about a seasoned investigator and his octogenarian grandmother rushing against a ticking clock? Smart, captivating, sophisticated, I can’t say enough about this deftly-told story.”
David Liss
“With Devil’s Plaything, Matt Richtel confirms what his first novel suggested: that he’s the absolute master of crafting amazing fiction around cutting edge science. Richtel’s singular gift is his ability to convey the human components of technological change. This is an utterly absorbing read — gripping, exciting, touching and terrifying. ”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061999697
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/31/2011
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.50(d)

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What People are saying about this

David Liss
“With Devil’s Plaything, Matt Richtel confirms what his first novel suggested: that he’s the absolute master of crafting amazing fiction around cutting edge science. Richtel’s singular gift is his ability to convey the human components of technological change. This is an utterly absorbing read — gripping, exciting, touching and terrifying. ”
Steve Berry
“This thriller pushes the envelope to the edge and beyond in exciting and unique ways. Talk about a buddy story: How about a seasoned investigator and his octogenarian grandmother rushing against a ticking clock? Smart, captivating, sophisticated, I can’t say enough about this deftly-told story.”

Meet the Author

Matt Richtel is a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter and bestselling nonfiction and mystery author. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Meredith, a neurologist, and their two children. In his spare time, he plays tennis and piano and writes (not very good) songs. Visit him online at www.mattrichtel.wordpress.com.

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Devil's Plaything 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the oddest "thrillers" I have ever read and it does make the reader think of the effects of computers and "multitasking." The author starts with a quote about the inverse proportion of computer memory doubling every year while the instances of human memory lost through disease also doubling every year. Is there a connection? Lane Idle is an elderly woman who interacts with a computer which is a type of artificial intelligence that can interpret and store human memories for future generations. The computer seems to flash butterflies on the screen while asking Lane to continue with various stories of her past. During the interactions the computer will ask questions about how she heard about Pearl Harbor, what her husband wore to her wedding and the type of car her father drove. Lane's grandson Nate is a professional blogger/reporter who has upset a bunch of police by exposing a scandal involving porto potties. Nate takes his grandmother to a dental appointment and crazy things start to happen like Nate and Lane getting shot at when they go to the park. The dentist office is also very strange with a very nasty receptionist. Later Nate wants to visit his grandmother in her senior care center and has some issues with the staff. Nate thinks his grandmother is being mistreated in the center and has to "kidnap" her from the center. It is difficult for Nate because his grandmother is not lucid most times and he wants to take her to her neurogist for further evaluation. All the while Nate must make a meeting with a mysterious person with the initials L.P., who gave him a password protected thumb drive that Nate had earlier guessed the password to. Throughout the book the reader expects a lot of action and tension. That is sparse here. What makes this book work well is that the author only sends out tidbits to the reader as to what is actually going on with Lane and the computer and Nate doesn't ever know who can be trusted and who are the bad guys. This is an excellent psychological thriller that raises a lot of questions as to whether our technology today is ruining our minds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A voracious reader for pleasure, I ask a few things from a book. Were the characters believable? Do I like the characters? Can I escape into the story? This book delivered. I found the "hero" and his grandmother interesting and well formed. The plot certainly had me thinking about my own elderly relatives and my own use of today's technology. In a word I found this book enjoyable. Certainly worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an overreach by the author. The concept is a good one, but his execution waan't that good.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Good characters. Interesting plot with strange but believable twists. I thought the ending was a bit rushed and somewhat anticlimactic. Not sure about the accuracy of the science but it makes a good storyline.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time getting into the first few chapters of this book but it was worth sticking with it. I grew to love Grandma Lane and Nat. The plot is interesting in theory and could be explored a little deeper. I am looking forward to the sequel and the possibilty the author has the grow with experience.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Odd, engaging, suspenseful, and very good
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the book best book