5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Exciting Thriller With Twists A-Plenty
The Blue Nowhere is one of my favourite books. It is thrilling all the way through and jam-packed with so many twists and turns and surprises that it leaves you stunned. The general plot is that a computer hacker has developed a programme to read all the files on someones PC. Therefore he can find out personal information about his target and then use this to plan an...
Published on Jan. 27 2004 by Veronica
3.0 out of 5 stars A (not-so)techno-thriller
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...
Published on April 16 2004 by Jerry L. McGahagin
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3.0 out of 5 stars A (not-so)techno-thriller,
This review is from: The Blue Nowhere: A Novel (Hardcover)
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Exciting Thriller With Twists A-Plenty,
The Blue Nowhere is one of my favourite books. It is thrilling all the way through and jam-packed with so many twists and turns and surprises that it leaves you stunned. The general plot is that a computer hacker has developed a programme to read all the files on someones PC. Therefore he can find out personal information about his target and then use this to plan an ingenious way to kill them by 'social engineering'. The police, with the help of a convicted computer hacker (a.k.a A Wizard), have to hunt the bad guy, and his accomplice Shawn down.
The characters are great because they are three dimensional and believable. The hero is Wyatt Gillette, a computer hacker who ended up in jail and lost his wife because of his obsession with computers and hacking (though never for his own gain, just because he is driven to crack the hardest codes for his own satisfaction). Deaver makes us live and breath this guy's obsession, so much so that you end up feeling sorry for him although what he does with computers is, technically, a criminal offence.
Some of my favourite parts were where Deaver cut into the text with chat-room style sections where the police and Gillette tried to track down the bad guy, code name Phate. I felt that I learned so much from this novel, especially about computer jargon and terminology which Deaver, miracle of miracles, managed to make as interesting as the plot twists (I wish he was running my computer classes). I would recommend this to all lovers of thrillers. I particually loved the terrifying showdown at the end which is not dissapointing at all.
Finally, there is a little glossary in the front of the book where all the computer terms are explained. You can easily refer to this from time to time if you forget what a particular word means. In other words, don't let the fact that this is a cyber-thriller put you off because Deaver makes the technology parts fun and explains all the jargon well.
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific plot,
This is Jeffery Deaver's first venture into a cyberthriller and he does a pretty good job. The strength of the novel is its plot: a no-holds-barred contest between two hackers. Wyatt Gillette is doing time for a few minor computer crimes when he is offered a temporary reprieve if he helps the state police track down a murderous cracker called Phate. The plot takes one turn after another, building suspense as Phate searches for new victims and Gillette tries to stop him. Why is Phate committing these murders? Who is his partner? Who's the traitor within the police? Is Gillette really a good guy? Plenty of mystery and suspense to keep you turning the pages.
Although the plot is terrific, the story has a couple of weak points. Deaver is not a computer pro and it shows. Although many of the inaccuracies are minor - only a technically sophisticated person would notice - some of them were really ridiculous (Gillette's fingertips are so strong from fingertip pushups that they crush keyboards during coding sessions).
Another problem is that Phate turns out to be a stock character - I won't give away the details, but you could probably put together a description without reading the novel. It's too bad because he starts out as an interesting, mysterious adversary. Still, the Blue Nowhere is a good thriller, well worth reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars Antoher good one from the master of thrillers,
I knew Jeff Deaver from his Lincoln Rhyme series, and I enjoyed very much "The bone collector" and "The coffin dancer". Deaver seems to me an author that knows what he's talking about, creating good main characters and awesome plots. When I heard about "The blue nowhere", I had no trouble racing to the nearest bookstore to buy it.
The explanation is simple. I think that, like me, Deaver is used to using the world wide web, but he knew nothing about hacking, cracking, internet, programming and such. Just to try and understand all this "technological esoteric" stuff is something to praise. It's not easy to understand this kind of things beginning from scratch, as I'm sure Deaver has done, and I respect him for that.
"The blue nowhere" is a thriller with some uncommon elements. To begin with, there's an interaction between the physical and the virtual worlds, since the vilain, a cracker named Phate, is using his computer-programming abilities to get information about the people he wants to kill, in order to win a game called Access. To get to Access' expert level, Phate search people that are virtually inviolable, knows everything there is to know about them, and, using his skills as a "Social engineer", gets them to trust him and stabs them in the heart. The book's main character, however, is Wyatt Gillette, a hacker in the latus sensus of the word, but Gillette is doing time in prison because he supposedly hacked into the main program of the US Department of Defense. Gillette is controversialy summoned to help California's Computer Crime Unit, and then begins a cat-and-mouse race against time to prevent Phate to further killings.
Like his previous books, the pace is very fast, and the near-madness plot prevents the reader of complaining against a dubious character-development - even if in this one there are more memorable characters than in the Rhyme series. Also, there are many plot-twists; some of them I could see coming, but some others got me completely unware. In fact, Deaver is very good at that, and that's why I will keep buying his books.
There's a computer-glossary in "The blue nowhere" and that's what makes the difference between this book and some of the cyber-thrillers that abund in the books universe, where the author simply makes the assumption that the readers are acquainted with the unusual vocabulary.
1.0 out of 5 stars Phish with big teeth (or Jaws 27 ),
What Deaver does with computers and the internet in The Blue Nowhere is pretty much what Peter Benchley did with sharks and the ocean in Jaws. As a computer specialist I was amused--and sometimes appalled--with Deaver's depiction of the cyber-world. He did get a lot of the history right and for people who are computer novices this book could provide-vicariously--some learning moments. Trouble is-same as with Benchley and the sharks-there's going to be a lot of unwarranted paranoia and dis-information spread about as well.
But let's forget that and look at the story . . . Initially the plot line is amusing, a cyber-criminal is brought out of prison by the police to help catch a much more deadly cyber-criminal. Push your suspension-of-disbelief lever ALL the way up as this progresses. Also see if you can contain your irritation with Deaver's continual, narrative explanations of computer terminology. Next we have to endure a heavy dose of soap opera (sons dying, wives leaving, daughters in pregnancy-extremis, wives in medical dilemma) as the search for the Komputer-Killer goes on. The characters are a bit beyond two dimensional-but not much.
The worst thing, however, is what Deaver does in the last quarter of the book-and, sadly, what he's done in at least two other of his works (to my knowledge). I refer to The Bone Collector and The Coffin Dancer, the other two Deaver novels I've read. In both of those he tells a very good story, then in the last part twists the plot so severely that any serious reader will throw up their hands. A French braid should be so simple. It's "the-guy-you-thought-was-a-good-guy-now-looks-like-a-bad-guy and the-bad-guy-might-actually-be-a-good-guy but maybe the good/bad-guy-is really-a-bad/good-guy".
He did that in both The Bone Collector and The Coffin Dancer-Damn I wish he'd stop it!
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book! Fantastic!!,
This is the first book I read by Deaver, and he's a fantastic writer, I'll be getting more of his books. He has what others wrtiers lack...the ability to keep the reader glued to every page, untill the end!
This is the story of a killer. What makes this killer so special? His name is Phate, and he uses computers to help kill people. Phate sneaks in your computer, finds everything about you, and uses it aganist you. How do you catch a computer killer? You need to get an excellent computer hacker to help you. This is where Gillette comes in, he's a computer hacker, with strong skills. Where did Gillette come from? You'll have to read and find out. What I liked about Gillette is that for most of the book, it's the readers job to decide if Gillette is a good or a bad guy. For most of the book the reader will be flip floping trying to figure out who Gillette really is.
Deaver did an excellent job with his computer references. Granted the computer program in this book isn't real...it could be real in the near furture. Deaver did his homework on the early computers.
Deaver keeps the reader hooked to the book through the *entire* book. He has wonderful characters that are believable and a lot of plot twists.
This is a fantastic read and I highly suggest this book, you won't be sorry.
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't have the scare/surprise factor of other books...,
When I came online to write a review about this book, I decided to read more from the other reviewers first. Maybe that isn't such a hot idea, because it will influence your own reviews...but for some reason this book just didn't catch my attention like Deaver's other books on Lincoln Rhymes. No...it's not just because Lincoln is disabled, no matter what people think about my slightly biased views because I am deaf.
Even though the book was enjoyable, there was a slightly false 'air' to it. After reading the reviews of the many computer geeks (no offense intended since I admire them) and those in the know in the computer world, I think I understand why the mystery came off this way. No amount of research can make up for the basic characterization, and a decent plotline. In this book, the plot was okay, but the characters came across as cardboard dummies. Very little emotional involvement attached to them. Another major problem, is having some computer background myself, like the other reviewers said the information concerning computers seemed contrived. I didn't realize it went so far as to include 'made up words' not used within computer geekdom. To me that is bad precedent for the basis of a novel. Deaver should have at least checked with those involved in that world first before writing this stuff into his mystery.
Having said that...Deaver is one of the better mystery writers today for the most part. The plot was good and the book could have been written better. Did anyone else get the idea that this was written along the lines of a script for a movie or TV show? I know the one movie they did using one of Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme novels was not a hit, but please...those of us who enjoy reading mysteries do not want to read scripts! This is a very light, enjoyable read, especially if it's a first time exposure to Deaver or a summer beach book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best cyber crime novel out there,
This is the best cyber crime book out there. Unlike William Gibson stories this novel is as well written as a James Patterson crime thriller. Trying to work out the identity of Sean who is Phate the killer's accomplice is up there with an Agatha Christie detective story.
You do not have to have an understanding of cyber jargon to enjoy this book as it is written in layman's terms with the characters explaining every term they use to less computer literate police officers and other characters whenever something complicated comes up. There is also a glossary at the back if you want to use some of these terms in day to day conservations.
The plot is sensational and is basically about a serial killer who is a computer genius that has been fired by a company in Silicon Valley so is committing murders on victims who live there. He has created a program called Trapdoor which gives him access to every detail of the person's computer he has infiltrated. This is how he gets his victims which he sees as other players in a real life Dungeons and Dragons type thing where he can no longer differentiate between the virtual and real worlds.
Police are forced t call on the help of a convicted in jail hacker Wyatt Gillette to catch Phate. Of course Wyatt has his own agenda.
This sensational novel has many twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end. Who is Sean? What is Wyatt's real agenda? You won't go to sleep until you've read the last page.
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary,
This book goes beyond the movie The Net (which was technically flawed) and presents a frightening glimpse of what a determined hacker could do if he was also a psycho killer. The hacker has created a virtually undetectable trap door program that can invade a victim's computer undetected and provide the hacker with a with all key strokes made by the user as well as all data on the user's PC. The hacker than uses the information gleaned to social engineer his way into getting close to his victim.
The hacker also employs tactics that were used by Jonathan Littman and Kevin Mitnick to reroute phone switches so he can break into virtually any call. The hacker also has an array of other nasty Internet tools like encryption and password crackers. What makes the whole thing really scary is that many of the tools are available as shareware on the Internet so it might not be so hard for a "sick" individual to carry out some of the things he does.
A must read for those in the computer security field!
2.0 out of 5 stars an unfortunate thing to happen to such a great writer,
I have always enjoyed reading Jefferey Deaver, but after finishing The Blue Nowhere, I was thoroughly disappointed. The plot first seems compelling and interesting enough: a jailed hacker is freed to work with a detective to capture a dangerous person named Phate, who uses computers to kill people. Although the characters seemed interesting at first, I quickly realized there was absolutely no depth to any of them. The intentionally misspelled computer terms ("warez" or "phreaking") were very amusing. During most parts of the book, it seemed that Deaver had just done a large amount of research on the subject and then with no knowledge of the topic, he sloppily compiled it into a story. Yet, the major error of the book was the timeframe of the events of the plot. All of these major events occur within several days, which is entirely improbable considering the numerous murders that occurred during the novel. Bottom Line: The Blue Nowhere has a compelling storyline, but its numerous errors are the cause of its downfall. Check it out, but don't buy it.
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The Blue Nowhere: A Novel by Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover - May 1 2001)
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