Books by Denise Danks

WINK A HOPEFUL EYE by Denise Danks
Released: Dec. 12, 1994

The reason he never met her for the Las Vegas weekend he'd invited her to, ex-colleague Charlie East explains to rolling-stone computer newshound Georgina Powers (Frame Grabber, 1993, etc.) after they've met at McCarran Airport and flown together back to Heathrow, is that he got into a high-stakes poker game he couldn't leave till he was sure of the pot: a million dollars' worth of drams, state-of-the-art computer chips. By this time Georgina has already met two of the other principals who'll figure in Charlie's oh-so-simple-sounding plan to convert the chips to cash and pay her back the ú50,000 he owes her: Hungarian gambler Pal Kuthy of AO Electronix, Charlie's potential buyer; and Shinichro Saito, Georgina's lover, who turns out to be the original seller of the chips. The only missing link is Hiroshi Sano, soon identified as the ``Al Sony'' who lost the chips to Charlie in the first place, even though he was under his company's orders to swap them for some prime Colombian blow. But the Colombians, together with the Japanese, Charlie, and Georgina, are all out of luck, because before Charlie can turn them around, the chips are hijacked from his safe-deposit box—the first of many, many reversals in this spirited round of musical drams. Instead of periodically carting in new characters, Danks just keeps peeling back more layers from her tiny cast's masks. (Those drams are not what they seem either.) The dizzying result is like a video-game version of The Big Sleep programmed by David Mamet—so incessantly brutal and funny (except to the heroine, who spends an awful lot of time getting punched out by people who call themselves her friends) that it ends up being exhausting to read. Read full book review >
FRAME GRABBER by Denise Danks
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 21, 1993

Londoner Georgina Powers (User Deadly) finds herself in 9´ Weeks situation—sexually obsessed with a computer expert who degrades and abuses her to the point of needing hospitalization. Furthermore, the man's wife shows Georgina a digitalized porn game that features Georgina as the star, and a snuff film with her husband in it. While trying to track down the history of the doctored tapes and run it as a story for her magazine, Technology Week, Georgina is reunited with former love Warren—a brilliant, thieving computer hacker who's become partners with her ex-husband Eddie in a Las Vegas enterprise that—surprise—has bankrolled the Pornoland games. There'll be one near-death from racial violence, one driven-to-suicide in a kinky interactive computer setup, and enough bruises around Georgina's throat to make a hangman wince before the supremely unlucky-with-men reporter sorts out the porn business—and herself. Edgy, nasty, and fascinating in its depiction of sexual enthrallment. The talented Danks has carved out a niche for herself as the chronicler of computer amorality and created—in Eddie, Warren, and Georgina—nuanced performers to carry forth her cautionary tales. Read full book review >
USER DEADLY by Denise Danks
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 22, 1992

Londoner Georgina Powers, a reporter for Technology Week, is horrified to hear of her cousin Julian's death—caused, it seems by a bit of autoerotica he couldn't escape when he forgot to place his handcuff keys nearby. But when Georgina and best friend Warren, a black, brilliant East End hacker, enter Julian's PC, they find a subliminal message programmed in it: Forget the key. Who wanted Julian dead? The path leads to Lifestyle Software, a dummy company spawned by Julian, Georgina's ex-husband Eddie, and Eddie's boss (and latest mistress) Kay Fisher, a nabob at financial brokers Broadwick & Klein. Georgina, barely deterred by arson, burglary, fisticuffs, and phone threats (but shaken by a falling out with Warren), eventually uncovers another subliminal message—this one triggering the stock crash of '87. A twist, another twist, and several betrayals later, Georgina is ready to write up the story for her acerbic boss Max and begin seeing Detective Inspector Falk for dinners. Feisty characters and tidy plotting mark this US debut, only slightly diminished by the long midbook discourse on How Finance Works. A strong, appealing introduction to the unsentimental Georgina. Read full book review >