Book Rating: 3.5
I enjoy novels that have strong female lead characters, and it was refreshing to find two in Going Zero by Anthony McCarten. Set in 2022, the CIA, in partnership with cyber security firm, Fusion, conduct a contest that allows them to beta test how best to detect hostile threats against the U.S. A billion-dollar contract with the federal government is at stake for Cy Baxter if Fusion can prove the viability of their newly created, cutting edge technologies.
Ten prescreened, recruited participants (five civilians and five professionals) have 30 days to escape detection in any way they choose. Participants are eliminated if they are unable to stay off the grid, entitling the last contestant who remains uncapturable, eligible to collect 3 million dollars. Kaitlyn Day, a Boston librarian, surprises everyone with her advanced skills, subverting and out pacing the CIA and Fusion’s technology at every heart stopping turn causing Cy Baxter and his team to wonder, just who is this underestimated librarian?! Baxter’s partner, Erika, wants to know why he is so intent on interfering with Kaitlyn’s efforts to win the competition. Three separate agendas collide into a propulsive, action-mystery thriller.
The immense, real-life possibilities McCarten presents adds to the enthralling concept of this novel. McCarten has created a harrowing adult version of cat and mouse, incorporating modern surveillance techniques with unexpected twists. Going Zero proceeds a step further to examine the unbounded potential of the cybersecurity world to invade basic civil liberties in the name of national security while asking citizens to existentially consider the what they are willing to sacrifice in the name of safety.
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