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The Florentine Deception: A Novel Paperback – Apr 14 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Distribution (April 14 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 150400924X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1504009249
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #696,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“The author’s novel boasts equal servings of excitement, suspense and humor . . . [He] tackles multiple genres—thriller, action, comedy—and champions each one with panache.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A combination of up-to-the-minute computer hacking and hard-hitting action make The Florentine Deception a grippingly plausible tale of modern cyber-terrorism.” —Neil Rubenking, Lead Security Analyst, PC Magazine
“Finally, a Techno Thriller that gets the details right!” —Mikko Hypponen, international computer security expert

“Nachenberg’s self-published debut has a writing style that will leave readers hanging at the end of every chapter, daring you to try to put it down…” —


About the Author

Carey Nachenberg has spent his life doing the three things he enjoys most: defending computers and networks against cyber-attacks (at Symantec Corp.), educating the next generation of eager Freshman Computer Science majors (at UCLA), and rock-climbing (in the local Santa Monica Mountains). He lives in sunny Southern California.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I checked out the categories listed for The Florentine Deception and they were bang on - Mystery, Techno-thriller, Amateur Sleuth. You could add in a little unrequited love, but that really was a very small side plot.

The forward by Eugene H Spafford, PhD - an expert in security and cyber crime - was an eye opener for me. The scenario created by author Carey Nachenberg - also an expert incyber-security field - was one Spafford had long been concerned about. He even presented a paper on it to senior personnel from from several government agencies and commercial firms over two decades ago. No one believed it could happen. Now here was another expert who independently came to the same conclusion. So while this is a great read with lots of excitement, just remember there is a core of possibility here. It could happen.

As I have a son working as a programmer with a start-up company, the character of Alex Fife in particular really hit home to me. Creating that new program that will sell for huge dollars still happens and the individuals who pull it off, especially if they can do it without bringing in investors, end up very wealthy at a very young age. While the other two from his company seemed to find their rhythm, Alex found himself at a loss and distracted.

Rock climbing and caving were the only thing he seemed to enjoy. That is until the day he grudgingly started to fix up old garage sale computer his dad wanted to give to a needy family. Something was odd here. His interest piqued, he started to explore a mystery not understanding the water he was dipping his toe into was shark-infested.

The mystery continues to grow as he and his friends start to search for the mysterious Florentine through a hidden safe, a long forgotten cave and a university lab.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition
I agreed to review this book based on the fact the author is generously donating all proceeds to charity which is a very noble gesture. I also should declare that it is an audio version. So based on those two factors I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.

This a fabulous fast paced, fun adventure, with smidgens of humour scattered among the technical elements. Basically a modern day take of a treasure hunt or a race against time.

Alex is the main character is a cool dude, he has taken on the task of ‘cleaning’ an old computer so his father can give it to a needy family. While doing so he unearths some emails and the chase begins. I don’t pretend to be well informed in the cyber world as far as computer technicalities and security is concerned but it’s not essential to enjoy this story. The author explains it all in detail all the while making it interesting, jaw-dropping and seem entirely possible!

The action is spot on, the suspense keeps you hooked and wanting to know what could possibly happen next. I really enjoyed the rock climbing concept .. not something I could do but the description was brilliant. A very clever piece of writing and the narrator was excellent. I din’t once get bored or feel as though I would be better ‘reading’ it myself. It was a wholly enjoyable experience and will encourage me to listen to more audio versions. It would also make a great movie I think.

Thanks to the author and iRead Book Tours for the opportunity to take part in exchange for my honest opinion. I have also purchased this to help reach the goal of books sold for such a worthy cause.
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for something different to read (or listen to) this summer and want to support some worthy causes at the same time than I recommend that you try The Florentine Deception by Carey Nachenberg. I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version of the book on Audible and was hooked from the very beginning. It mixes a real world adventure story with that of a cyber thriller (which my geeky side loves). What makes this book all the more believable is that Carey is the co-inventor of the Norton Antivirus so everything he writes is plausible. Plus Carey is donating the proceeds from the sale of his book to charity – I love to help support authors that want to pay it forward and help others!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can't believe that this is a first novel for this writer. It had a great story, lots of twists, an adventure to read. I'm always on the look out for a good read and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I hope this won't be his last. I highly recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b9e8888) out of 5 stars 146 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c9d00f0) out of 5 stars Fun, easy-to-read technological thriller! April 14 2015
By Matthew & Lynn Crowe - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Florentine Deception is a fun, easy read set that mixes real-world adventure with the intrigue of a cyber thriller. Written in an accurate style with a plausible plot line, the more technically savvy among its readers will especially enjoy the on-target details as the computer expert protagonist's decision to help out his father with a computer problem leads deeper and deeper into a mystery that has global implications. This is not one of those "cyber thriller" books that are completely implausible and illogical -- this plot line could definitely happen today.

I found the book very entertaining and flew through it over the course of two days. A great read for folks curious about computer security in the modern age as well as for those of us well acquainted with it!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b868768) out of 5 stars One of the Best Cyber Thrillers Ever! April 27 2015
By Jet - Published on
Format: Paperback
One of the best cyber thrillers I've ever read. It's a fast paced, on the edge of your seat, gotta find out what happens next adventure. This is what you’d get if Sherlock Holmes met Alan Turing and went searching for an Indiana Jones relic. The technical details are accurate unlike most techno thrillers (don’t get me started on Dan Brown’s, “Digital Fortress”) and that adds to the believability of the plot. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a great weekend read.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fec42dc) out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down... April 15 2015
By Daniel Nieh - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely loved this book! It's definitely a page turner. As a rock climber and former resident of LA myself, I definitely enjoyed all the local references specifically with climbing and areas around UCLA. If you're into good reads, urban adventure/thrillers or are an angeleno, this is the perfect book for you.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c9a3e1c) out of 5 stars A good read and a good cause May 4 2015
By Alan Schwartz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Disclaimer first: I know the author personally, and I have been involved in computer security in the past. I tell you this because I'm going to tell you what you're in for (without spoilers) but also why you should buy this book. Fair warning.

The Florentine Deception is a cinematically-paced cyber-thriller -- think Dan Brown set in modern Los Angeles (although there is a notable excursion into the subterranean, it's caving, not secret vaults). Other reviewers have mentioned not being able to put the book down, and I'll echo that sentiment -- it's a fast read and contained enough twists and surprises (and a literal cliff-hanger or two) to keep me awake later than I should have been in order to finish a chapter. The prose is not as polished as Dan Brown's best work, and Chekhov's gun is in play, but there's an appealing sense of rightness even in that. The plot is solid, and the characters are likeable. Nachenberg's hero is fleshed out well, as are the supporting characters including Linda, who happily eschews a stereotypical "love interest" role and stands as a person in her own right. As you might expect given the author's role as Chief Architect at Symantec, the technological details are accurate; but even more, they are both clearly explained and chilling in their potential. (the explanation of digital steganography is probably the clearest I've read in any fiction or non-fiction book). In the era of Edward Snowden, the sympathetic "good guy" portrayal of the NSA may strike some readers as unusual, but this is not a book about making a political point - it's a book about the danger of a single point of failure in technology, how security mechanisms can be the source of insecurity, and the loyalty of friends.

So you should buy this book if you like a fun read. You should buy it if you're intrigued by computer security (or rock climbing). And you should feel especially good buying it as Carey is donating the profits to charity - and deserves to be encouraged to write more.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c9d25ac) out of 5 stars Is the video game coming out anytime soon??? May 30 2015
By Derek Wung - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gaming vs. Reading. Are you more of a gamer or are you more of a reader? If you ask me this question, I would definitely say I'm a gamer. I enjoy playing RPG games from Prince of Persia to GTA because of their entertainment value; the fact that I control the main character with a controller is another reason. Reading, however, is something that I've not really been as interested in. Often, I find reading boring because it's a passive activity and isn't as entertaining as being in the action of a video game. However, the Florentine Deception by Carey Nachenberg is one that will make video gamers, especially those who hate reading, enjoy reading!

The novel is written as a first person narrative with such exquisite detail that it basically puts you in the shoes of the main character, Alex Fife. While some of the detail may have been too exquisite, especially the cyber-security and rock climbing, the surrounding drama around Alex Fife and his friends more than makes up for it. Even if your reading comprehension is less than average, you'll still at least be able to grasp the general storyline without much difficulty while reading the book.

Of course, you cannot control what Alex Fife does in the book, but what you can control is your mind picturing the extremely vivid scenery of this sci-fi thriller. Throughout each chapter (except for a few that aren't written from Alex's point of view), you'll be asking yourself, "What would I be doing if I were Alex? What do I think Alex will do? What will happen to Alex?" At the end of most, if not all, chapters is a cliffhanger most comparable to the words "To be continued" typically shown on TV serial dramas. Unlike these TV dramas, you don't have to wait for the next episode to come out; you just have to turn the page to watch it!

I definitely recommend this book! If there is to be a sequel, a movie, or a video game coming out based on the book, I am definitely going to have to pounce on the opportunity!