A screenwriter working on a script about the dark side of Big Data is pulled into a far-reaching conspiracy and coverup after a childhood friend is kidnapped while under investigation by the Justice Department. 40,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
Harper Lee Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author James Grippando returns with a bold new thriller that asks at what price do we open our lives to Big Data.
Aspiring playwright, Kate Gamble, is struggling to launch a script she’s been secretly researching her entire life, mostly at the family dinner table. Her father is Christian Gamble, CEO of Buck Technologies, a private data integration company whose clients include the CIA and virtually every counter-terrorism organization in the Western World. Kate’s father adores her, and a play about the dark side of Big Data would be the ultimate betrayal in his eyes. But Kate is compelled to tell this story—not only as an artist exploring the personal information catastrophe that affects us all, but as a daughter trying to understand her mother’s apparent loss of purpose, made even more disturbing by the suicide note she left behind: I did it for Kate.
Then Patrick Battle comes back into her life, changing everything she has ever thought about her play, her father, and her mother’s tragic death. Patrick is a childhood friend, but he is now Buck’s golden boy with security clearance to the company’s most sensitive projects. When Buck comes under investigation by the Justice Department and Patrick suddenly goes missing, Kate doesn’t know who to trust. A phone call confirms her worst nightmare: Patrick has been kidnapped, and the ransom demand is “Code 6”—the most secret and potentially dangerous technology her father’s company has ever developed.
Kate’s fight to bring Patrick home safely reveals a conspiracy and cover up that may implicate one of the most powerful executives in the tech industry, while the development of Kate’s play unleashes family secrets and the demons behind her mother’s cryptic final note. The two paths converge in explosive fashion, leading to a shocking and terrifying discovery that puts Kate and Patrick in the crosshairs of forces who will stop at nothing to control Code 6.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
At the start of this uneven standalone from bestseller Grippando (the Jack Swyteck series), Kate Gamble, an American University law student and would-be playwright, arrives at her parents' penthouse apartment in Tysons Corner, Va., to find that her mother, Elizabeth, apparently just jumped to her death from its balcony. A note Elizabeth left behind apologizes to her husband and adds that she "did it for Kate." Seeking to move on with her life, Kate accepts an internship at her father's company, Buck Technologies International, a private data-integration firm serving "virtually every counterterrorism organization in the Western World"; she also works on a play about how IBM enabled the Nazis to use data from punch cards to track down Jews. Kate stumbles upon a secret at Buck Technologies that threatens the life of an employee she used to babysit for and places her in an awkward position when the Justice Department conducts a security audit of the company, headed by an old boyfriend. Thoughtful and plausible speculations about how big tech could become even more intrusive and a sympathetic, capable heroine make up only in part for plot contrivances and formulaic action sequences. Grippando's execution falls short of his ambitions. Agent: Richard Pine, InkWell Management. (Jan.}
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