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The Blue Nowhere: A Novel [Mass Market Paperback]

Jeffery Deaver
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2002
His code name is Phate -- a sadistic computer hacker who infiltrates people's computers, invades their lives, and with chilling precision lures them to their deaths. To stop him, the authorities free imprisoned former hacker Wyatt Gillette to aid the investigation. Teamed with old-school homicide detective Frank Bishop, Gillette must combine their disparate talents to catch a brilliant and merciless killer.

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From Amazon

In this 21st century version of the "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," two computer wizards engage in the kind of high-tech combat that only a hacker could love. Wyatt Gillette, a cybergenius who's never used his phenomenal talent for evil, is sitting in a California jail doing time for a few harmless computer capers when he gets a temporary reprieve--a chance to help the Computer Crimes Unit of the state police nail a cracker (a criminally inclined hacker) called Phate who's using his ingenious program, Trapdoor, to lure innocent victims to their death by infiltrating their computers. Gillette and Phate were once the kings of cyberspace--the Blue Nowhere of the title--but Phate has gone way past the mischievous electronic pranks they once pulled and crossed over to the dark side. While Trapdoor can hack its way into any computer, it's Phate's skill at "social engineering" as well as his remarkable coding ability that makes him such a menace to society. As Wyatt explains to the policeman who springs him from prison so that he can find and stop Phate before he kills again, "It means conning somebody, pretending you're someone you're not. Hackers do it to get access to data bases and phone lines and pass codes. The more facts about somebody you can feed back to them, the more they believe you and the more they'll do what you want them to."

Bestselling author Jeffery Deaver (The Empty Chair, The Devil's Teardrop) ratchets up the suspense one line of code at a time; his terrific pacing drives the narrative to a thrilling and explosive conclusion. This thriller is bound to induce paranoia in anyone who still believes he can hide his deepest secrets from anyone with the means, motive, and modem to ferret them out. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

How do you write a truly gripping thriller about people staring into computer screens? Many have tried, none have succeeded until now. Leave it to Deaver, the most clever plotter on the planet, to do it by simply applying the same rules of suspense to onscreen action as to offscreen. Much of the action in this novel about the hunt for an outlaw hacker turned homicidal maniac does takes place in the real world, but much else plays out in cyberspace as a team of California homicide and computer crime cops chase the infamous "wizard" hacker known as Phate. The odds run against the cops. With his skills, Phate can not only change identities at will (a knack known as "social engineering" in hacking parlance) but can manipulate all computerized records about himself. The cops have a wizard of their own, however: a former online companion of Phate's, a hacker doing time for having allegedly cracked the Department of Defense's encryption program. He's Wyatt Gillette, coveting Pop-Tarts (the hacker's meal of choice) and computers, but also the wife he lost when he went to prison and it's his tortured personality that gives this novel its heart as Wyatt is sprung from prison, but only for as long as it takes to track down Phate. The mad hacker, meanwhile, no longer able to discern between the virtual and the real, has adapted a notorious online role-playing game to the world of flesh and blood, with innocent humans as his prey. As he twists suspense and tension to gigahertz levels, Deaver springs an astonishing number of surprises on the reader: Who is Phate's accomplice? What are Wyatt's real motives? Who is the traitor among the cops? His real triumph, though, is to make the hacker world come alive in all its midnight, reality-cracking intensity. This novel is, in hacker lingo, "totally moby" the most exciting, and most vivid, fiction yet about the neverland hackers call "the blue nowhere." Agent, Sterling Lord Literistic.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story! May 18 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a well-written and exciting story. The computer hacking and the ability to know so much personal information about anyone was truly disturbing. A story well worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent book Jan. 17 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
We'll written, with plenty of twists in the plot. This a very good book, with plenty of suspense. Mr. Deaver has excelled with this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Boring? Really? June 17 2004
By A Customer
This book was far from a bore. Having been raised with computers in my life - knowing just about enough about them to get by and do no damage to them - I didn't find the explanations at all patronising, rather helpful for the people out there who don't have a clue about computers. To be honest I didn't find that these explanations were blocking the plot and they do give some aspect of time. I was a true teenager when I first read this book and it is obviously aimed at us in general. Phate downloading whatever-they-ares in several minutes really meant nothing to me...only that he'd outsmarted them once again and got a lot more than they'd anticipated. I would recommend this book to anyone who was willing to dismis these so-called obvious mistakes - which a mind like mine would certainly miss, being educated in languages certainly doesn't make you aware of specialist terms.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This novel keeps you turning the pages even though you know you're being "had" and that after all the build up, the ending can't be anything other than a let-down.
I am a Silicon Valley computer professional and agree with all the other reviews about the technology being laughably wrong.
Yes, there's a lot of action in this book, but I found it to be contrived. The characters run all over the Valley (picture the Keystone Cops), usually for no reason other than to be in a place so they can get into trouble. I kept reading only to learn who the villain's accomplice was. That story line was done well, I thought, classic mystery, making you suspect just about everybody, no matter how crazy it seemed. In the end though, I felt like I'd wasted my time reading this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sold on Deaver May 4 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a normal person in a normal world. I grew up before computers were in every home and class room. I found the book very tense. I could feel my heart rate increase numerous times. Had a hard time putting it down. Freaked me out, that I didn't get on the internet for over a month. Logically I know the odds of something like that really happening is very low...but still...I guess people say there are tech/terms problems in the book. I suppose that would bother me also if I really understood what gigabytes really were. All I know is how to make software work to its fullest.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A (not-so)techno-thriller April 16 2004
Jeffery Deaver actually has a pretty good plot and story buried deep down in this novel somewhere, but he spends so much time explaining the most basic of computer terms throughout the novel - and stopping mid-story to do it - that the reader loses focus. The book originally came out back in 2001, and even then most individuals did not need THAT much explanation about computers to get what was going on (was there really anyone out there in 2001 that had never heard of "the internet"?). If you know absolutely **nothing** about computers, you might enjoy this novel more but even the most basic computer knowledge turns this book into a bore at times. Readers shouldn't have to keep moaning to themselves "yes, I KNOW that, move on!"
Even with that criticism, when the story did move it was captivating. A hacker sent to prison for cracking the wrong computer system is recruited to help the police catch another hacker that is using his skills to work his way into people's lives and kill them. Great story. If Deaver had focused more on that, he'd have had a real winner here.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Huh? April 4 2004
By 2wsxWSX
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The only way someone can read this novel is if they know almost nothing about computers.
Deaver really needed a technical editor to go over the manuscript. He takes real terms and applies them incorrectly and the technology isn't realistic at all: example PHATE is on a cellphone modem connection for 52mins and downloads "gigabytes" of data -- ah,'d be lucky to download a few megs. Also Gillette "hears" pings when tracing PHATE. When connected to supercomputers PHATE "dials" into other supercomputers -- huh? Also, Deaver mixes up the Internet and the Web as if they are the same thing.
If you are doing a medical novel, you have to get the medical details right, and if you're doing a book on hacking, you have to get the tech details right as well or it's just silly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An informative and entertaining thriller Feb. 16 2004
By Deryan
This story is a real page turner - despite what the previous reviewers might have implied. You'll learn a lot about compu-speak, sure, and there's quite a few inside jokes that only nerds and geeks will pick up on a first reading, but that aside, this is a clever story, well written with lots of pace and a great way to kill a few spare evenings.
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