Danielle Leaf, in India to study yoga at an ashram, agrees to deliver a passport to a woman in a remote village at the request of her old friend/boyfriend, Keiran Kell. What begins as an afternoon motorcycle ride thrusts Danielle into a maelstrom of intrigue, conspiracy, anti-corporate protest marches, high-tech espionage, and several life-threatening situations.
That Keiran is a genius computer hacker both complicates and alleviates the problems they fall victim to once the plot is set in motion. They find themselves involved in a mysterious war between a strange multinational corporation and a well-organized anti-globalization protest movement. And behind the obvious conspiracy is an even deadlier secret.
Jon Evans, winner of the 2005 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel, has put together a book that is a page-turner from the very beginning. As the story races along through India, France, England and the United States, it is hard to get anything done-other than reading.
Danielle is an extremely likeable character and her cohorts and enemies are also interesting.
Not only is the book exciting and peopled with fascinating types, it also touches on some very real and thought provoking issues:
1. Can computer hackers really get into all kinds of "secure" systems?
2. Is there a possibility that drug companies run tests on human subjects in remote areas?
3. Are any of us safe from corporate/medical/ conspiracies if they are taking place?
These and more are crafted into this novel. The book would make a terrific movie, but even lacking that venue I heartily recommend it. I rarely read thrillers, but this one hooked me from start to finish.
NOTE: Jon's first novel, Dark Places (called Trail Of The Dead in the UK) won an Arthur Ellis Award. Booklist called his second book, The Blood Price, "fantastic," and Publishers Weekly praised it as "a highly readable, inventive thriller." His next, The Night of Knives, is slated for UK publication in December 2007 (US date to be announced).
Armchair Interviews says: Buy this book and get hooked on it yourself.