A secret organization is hellbent on using a supercomputer to predict future events in the fifth outing of Breakfield and Burkey’s techno-thriller series (The Enigma Wraith, 2014, etc.).
When a political candidate believes his campaign has been targeted by a cyberassassin, he enlists the help of the R-Group, an information-gathering and security team. This attack, however, seems to be one of many made possible with “heavy computer muscle.” The covert Werewolf Clan, with ties to Nazis, may be responsible and has been using a computer program to accurately predict stock futures. But it has an even more ambitious plan to link supercomputers around the world and potentially manipulate the future. At the same time, R-Group’s Julie, newly married and pregnant, is starting her own Cyber Assassin Technology Services but may have a mole among the recruits feeding info to an old enemy, Chairman Chang. The authors focus on characters in preceding books, but this time, they’ve breathed new life into the series with Julie’s CATS. Her subset, of sorts, allows for the introduction of unfamiliar faces, like employee Brayson, and fresh storylines. Breakfield and Burkey once again deliver the goods, as returning readers will expect—intelligent technology-laden dialogue; a kidnapping or two; and a bit of action, as Jacob and Petra dodge an assassin (not the cyber kind) in Argentina. Comedy, interestingly, comes from R-Group’s own supercomputer, aka Immersive Collaborative Associative Binary Override Deterministic system, who, as it happens, is invested in understanding humanity’s humor. ICABOD finds other supercomputers and, rather imperiously, names them himself; the Russian Binary Operations Recalculating Integers Simultaneously has one of the shorter acronyms. There are a fair number of romantic relationships, most established in earlier books, including Jacob and Petra’s, and ICABOD designer Quip and Eilla-Zan’s. But the romance between Julie and husband Juan is unparalleled. Their storyline warrants a spinoff novel or two.
Should lure readers who haven’t yet discovered the series.