Jeromie Carr & James Dunn
Intriguing and maybe a bit prophetic.
First time novelist Carr & Dunn introduce us to a world where technology isn't just a convenience, but a necessity. In this world a persons life can just as easily be ended with a few keystrokes as it can with a knife or gun. Sticking to the "write what you know" philosophy the Colorado based authors solidly plant their story in Denver and surrounding areas.
We follow a Denver police Detective Jack Tate and his partner Kimi Arimuro as they investigate a seemingly normal murder of a local prostitute. Things take a strange turn when after a good nights sleep detective Tate wakes up "dead". Someone has declared him dead and his entire Digital Data Incorporated (DDI) file is locked. The DDI is a vast web information and security linked with an individual's biometrical signature. Your house, your money, your entire life can be instantly cut off from you if someone has the right tools and the right motive.
While trying to clear up this "mistake" Detective Tate quickly comes to realize that there are bigger things happening and he has apparently come to close to larger mystery than just a murdered prostitute. With only a few leads and none of the usual technological devices at his disposal Jack sets of into a world that not only no longer recognizes him, but mistakes him for a anti-technology terrorist.
This was an interesting read for me. While I think that it shows that this is a freshman effort for the authors I found the world they created very clever and maybe just a bit frightening. How close are we to a world that we can find lives robbed from us with out so much as a busted window? Just about everyone has had their hard-drive crash or has lost their cell phone. Currently this is at worst a hassle and an annoyance, but what if along with the loss of your phone you lost access to your house, public transportation, the ATM, everything you use to get by on a day to day basis, "turned off"? Currently biometrics are capable of being our access to all these things. All that is missing is the connecting database. Care to tie all that into the internet?
The overall mystery is solid and certainly not anything that you would expect. The turns come sharply but within grasp of the feasible, nothing much that leads to the "yeah, right!" of some sci-fi novels, and leaves the reader with the distinct impression that this will not be the last we see of this universe. I'm not going to divulge too much of the plot here but it runs the gamut of murder and loss of identity, subterfuge and espionage to cloning, possibly for extremely dubious purposes.
The world in which our hero finds himself feels all to familiar at times and the solutions to circumventing the techno-laden society are clever and believable as is the company he soon finds himself in. A group of similarly "turned off" individuals who have found it easier to live a simple life out of the way of the world around them than try and regain what was lost, or taken(?) from them.
My only qualm with the book really is some of the interaction between the characters. Emotions seem to flare and subside a little too quickly and some of the dialog has the feel of being thought over maybe a little too long. Making the reader see them as just letters on the page rather than the ideas that they are meant to convey.
If you enjoy the sci-fi/crime genre I'd say this would be a good read and worth the time. Take this story as a bit of a cautionary tale of our need for security run amok. The authors motive in creating this world in which everyone can easily be tracked and monitored if need be is their own but I could not help but think it was their impression of what our world could look like in the mid 21st century if we continue to let the phone taps and invasion of CCTV's to run unchecked. With every generation the presence of security becomes more common place. Our "invasion of privacy" might be our children's status quo. Give it a few more generations and we could see the biometric juggernaut that is depicted in Digital Destiny
You can learn more about Digital Destiny
and the authors at http://www.digitaldestinybook.com/