Darknet (2015) by Matthew Mather is a very intriguing and engrossing book. It keeps you turning the page super fast to find out what will happen next.
The book is the second installment in Mather’s Cyber Series following on from Cyberstorm which I haven’t read yet but will at some stage. However I don’t feel you would need to read the previous book to understand what is going on in this novel. Though it would be interesting to see where it all begins.
In this outing, we are following many characters and yet the skill of the author ensures that we are brought into the lives of each of them. They are all very well-rounded and different from each other.
The plot is really intriguing and has a very good social commentary about the perils of the internet and how much the real world is starting to be controlled to an extent by what goes on in the virtual world. This novel is mostly set in New York but also some of it is set in Hong Kong. The protagonist is Jake O’Connell who is pulled into an underground internet world of murders and soon finds that it is much more bigger and more complicated than he first anticipated. Following the sudden death of his friend when from childhood Sean Womack, O’Connell is brought into this at first by information left behind by Womack and a feeling that Womack’s death was not an accident like it is being portrayed as. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Mr. Yamamoto has died in another suspicious case in the Goldman Sachs conference room. Back in New York, Shen Shi relays this information back to his cousin Jin – as well as a list of rich people possibly murdered in a banking conspiracy. When he is killed by the elevator they use, she is left with information Shi has entrusted to her which puts her in a dangerous position. In desperate need of help she goes on the run. She enlists the help of Wutang, a bloke who fancies her but who she doesn’t know very well though they are friends on Facebook. Wutang has a crush on Jin. Wutang further enlists the help of computer genius Sheldon and soon they come into contact with O’Connell whose life Jin saves. At this time O’Connell is on the run, falsely accused of rape of a woman who works for him and his marriage and family life is in tatters. Can he win back his wife Elle’s trust and save his family – and later his daughter Anna’s life?
A very interesting and mysterious tale of politics, money, power and psychotic behavior, this book is unputdownable. The scary thing is how realistic it is – and that’s before you look at the comprehensive guide of article links Mather provides at the end of the book which proves it is very realistic and possible. So definitely alongside it being a great read, you learn a lot on the way about the deadly schemes happening in some quarters of the internet.
My favourite characters were Jin because she was so strong in her fight to survive and never give up and Sheldon and Womack because they are idealists and I’m very fond of idealists. It’s a great thriller with unique characters to suit all character preferences. My only flaw? Well it isn’t really a flaw really but all of it wasn’t tied up at the end and I really wanted to know absolutely all by the end because I was so brought into the story and the outcome. Most of it was explained but not all so I suppose that’s for book 3 so …
A great read. Incredibly well-researched too.
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