Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ephron's Sophomore Novel Is Top of the Class According to Jackie

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.

Jackie says:

"Diana has suffered from severe panic attacks ever since her husband died in a mountain
climbing accident over 15 months ago. She lives in a highly secured house and works in a
virtual reality called 'Other-World', where she runs her real world company providing internet protection services. She's very qualified--up until 3 years ago she was a hacker herself. As was her business partner Jake. There are some glitches to the business, however. In the past several months three potential clients have backed away at the last minute. This was Diana's deepest concern--until her sister went missing from a public rally in downtown Boston. Diana must find the real world counterparts to her virtual friends in order to find her sister, but the question is, just who are they and can they be trusted? I would call this a techno-thriller mystery, though it wasn't so technical that I couldn't follow along (and I am not tech savvy). It caused me several hours of lost sleep since I could not put it down as the pace ratcheted up to the book's stunning, plot twisting conclusion. This is Ephron's sophomore novel (Never Tell A Lie is her debut novel), and I say she's at the top of her class!"

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