Remote Access by Barry Finlay
Reviewed by Geza Tatrallyay
A political thriller that is very current and hard to put down, Barry Finlay tackles one of the most real dangers to the world today - cyber hacking - and weaves a suspenseful narrative of believable intrigue and romance, with a recognizable likeness of the current president as the intended victim. On a trade mission in Shanghai, a rogue US trade representative delivers to a Chinese man who had befriended him a shocking draft of intended tariffs on US imports that would devastate the very lucrative export of electronic and other goods. As it happens, the man is a well-connected cyber-hacker, and the document ends up with a hardline member of the Politburo. With the threat of significant trade sanctions about to be imposed on China, the high-level government representative instructs the hacker, Yang Lee, to ensure that the tariffs never take effect. After doing substantial research, the hacker decides to intimidate Annie Logan, the alcoholic wife of the president's chief of staff, to get her husband, Craig, to use his power to kill the approval process. Yang Lee takes control of Annie’s computer and threatens to ruin her and her husband unless she is able to convince Craig to stop the tariffs. Annie has trouble convincing Craig of the plight they are in, but Marcie Kane, her friend, realizes that something is tremendously wrong and gets her fiancée, Nathan Harris, an FBI consultant to take action. With the help of an FBI computer expert, Nathan and Marcie are able to control the damage and foil Yang Lee’s plans. The president signs the executive order to put the tariffs in place and Yang Lee knows he has failed and will lose face and significant business in the future, He decides that the only way he can reestablish himself is to assassinate the president at a gala dinner along with all the guests, which as it happens, include Nathan and Marcie and Annie and Craig, her husband. At the dinner, Marcie realizes the danger they are all in, but all the exits have been remotely locked. Remote Access is a well-written, well-conceived, gripping thriller, well worth the read. Mr. Finlay has a background in government and finance and knows this world intricately. He has supplemented his experience with substantial research into international politics and the cyber world and takes us on an exciting adventure into a very possible and real political trauma.
Remote Access is published by Keep on Climbing Press.