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Review: Invasion of Privacy, by Christopher Reich

HERB JOHNSON – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
The book starts with a flashback. It’s two years ago and Mary Grant, her husband Joe and children Jessie and Grace are vacationing on an island in the tropics. It is a magical time. It’s Christmas and they take part in a local ceremony involving candles that float into the sky and disappear.
Fast forward to the present and Jessie has turned into a surly teenager, Grace has cancer and Joe has been killed in the line of duty.
Joe, an FBI agent, has been working undercover on an investigation into a firm called One Technology, which is owned by a mad genius named Ian Prince.
Prince is in the process of developing the Titan supercomputer, which will be able to spy on anyone, anytime, anywhere.
That is scary enough in itself, but as the story develops, it is suggested that the spying may be done on behalf of the NSA, which is really scary.
The FBI is also involved, with at least one agent not working for the good guys. And once it’s all up and running, Prince will secretly keep track of all the information that is being sucked in.
The FBI has decided that in the interest of national security (and perhaps self-preservation) it will cover up the circumstances surrounding Joe’s death.
Joe was killed by one of his confidential informants, they say. Mary, who was raised to think for herself and be tough when needed, soon figures out this is a lie and starts digging seriously into just what is going on.
She gets some help from a washed-up alcoholic newspaper reporter called Tank Potter, who smells a story, one that may get him his job back . . . or maybe even a book.
She also gets help from Jessie, who sheds her snarky teenager persona when she realizes that a serious situation has developed and mom needs her help. Even Grace, who has suffered a relapse, is a tower of strength.
There are good people in this book. And the evil genius, who will get his just desserts in the final chapter. There is also and big, big chunk of technology. Remember the supercomputer? It is explained in some detail, quite often.

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