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The Blue Nowhere
ISBN 0671042262 / 9780671042264 / 0-671-04226-2
Publisher Pocket Bks. 2002
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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 [via]