Cyberkill Review by Michael S. P. Lucas
Dashiell Hammett would have been utterly astounded by the world described by Ross Carley in Cyberkill but Sam Spade would have understood the human frailties of Carley’s fictional detective Wolf Ruger.
Ross spins a tale centered on Wolf Ruger who has two hats; one as a private investigator and the other as a computer expert. The overall story is related to the possibility that two deaths in a private hospital were related to a similar virus to the Stuxnet which Wired Magazine called the world’s first digital weapon.
There are scenes of steamy promiscuous sex, phone sex, breaking and entering, stolen computers, murder suicide and the painful misadventures of Wolf Ruger who is accident prone and afflicted with PTSD, a souvenir of service in Iraq. To further delight the enthusiasts of the genre he is owned by Boots the household cat.
Sal Russo the shady onetime Chicago mob boss ls manager of the Golden Doubloon in Vegas and has vague childhood connections to Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Sal has problems with undesirables hacking the GD’s slot machines resulting in large losses. Wolf is hired to identify the miscreants who might be friends or foes; even Russian, Armenian or Romanian!
Ross provides an interesting introduction to the business of slot machine operation and the payoffs.
Wolf becomes a frequent user of satellite phones; encrypted emails, GPS tracking devices and Radio frequency jamming cell phones. There is some discussion of the Darknet which is used by both the Bad Guys and the Good Guys,.
Cyberkill is a great read. The dialog is extremely well done.
Cyberkill Review by Richard Meredith, author of the thriller Sky Dance
Strap in and hold on—your ride is about to get bumpy. As its title connotes, Cyberkill is a fast-paced, complex techno-thriller, but instead of nation states, it’s the Chicago mafia against the Eastern European mobs for casino profits. And, instead of AK-47’s and Uzi’s, the weapons of choice are the internet and the skills of sophisticated hackers inhabiting the hidden corners of the dark web. This story will definitely have you questioning your commitment to the “internet of things.”
The author, Ross Carley, has a firm grasp of cyber warfare issues and is able to weave complex computer technological issues in understandable language without compromising from the story’s pacing or tension. Carley’s protagonist, Wolf Ruger, is a private investigator carefully slaloming a course between the mobs and the police, while dealing, sometimes unsuccessfully, with his war-induced PTSD. Add two girl friends to the mix, and it’s a wonder how the man copes let alone thrives.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and highly recommend it to others. If I have one criticism it’s knowing that this is part one of a trilogy. On the other hand, I’ve got two more reads ahead. I hope he’s a fast writer.