Thursday, June 21, 2018

Book Review: Foolproof by Barbara D'Amato, Jeanne M. Dams & Mark Zubro

Author: Barbara D'Amato, Jeanne M. Dams, & Mark Richard Zubro
Publication: Forge Books; 1 edition (December 22, 2009)

Description: The morning of 9/11 Brenda Grant and Daniel Henderson met for coffee before going to their software firm in the World Trade Center.  That casual act saved them from the Twin Towers' collapse, even as their friends and Brenda’s fiancĂ© were killed and their company obliterated.

Founding their own software security firm, they never forgot that morning of horror.  Grant and Henderson then establish a clandestine division inside their company committed to covertly tracking down global terrorists. In a search involving Washington DC, Egypt, Italy and Turkey, they expose a plot to hijack a US presidential election, rig voting machines, and topple democracies worldwide.

Foolproof is a global thriller in the tradition of Tess Gerritson, Catherine Coulter, and Linda Howard.

My Thoughts: This thriller, written in 2009, has themes ripped from today's headlines. Brenda Grant and Daniel Henderson were two minutes away from being in the World Trade Center when the first plane hits on the morning of 9/11. Their company was above where the plane hit and no one managed to get out before the towers collapsed. Brenda lost her fiance who was one of the company owners.

A few years later, Brenda and Grant have started a security company and have a mission to track down terrorists. When they find evidence by trolling chat rooms and the deep web, they try to pass the information along to authorities who can do something about their finds with varying degrees of success.

Sarah, an old college friend of Brenda's gives her a call one day to set up an appointment but, before they can meet, she dies in what looks like a street accident. Having a bit of the friend's point of view, we know that she was pushed into traffic by a man she just met. Brenda, who hasn't seen her since college, wonders why Sarah, who works for a software development company, wanted to meet with her.

Brenda and Daniel are also approached by a man from the government who gives his name as Allen Cooper who works for NSAA and wants to hire their firm for some security work. They are hesitant because they don't like working for the government but the money is too good to pass up. Coop begins to make a play for Brenda by asking her out and taking her to expensive places but Brenda's heart is still with the fiance she lost on 9/11.

Coop asks them to look into a new vote tallying program that will be used in the next presidential election which is only days away. It looks to be a really tight race between the incombent President Kierkstra, a corrupt politician from South Dakota, who took office when the President died of a heart attack and Governor Evan Harkinnon. Meanwhile, Brenda is still puzzled about Sarah's death and sends memo to all of her offices to see if anyone knows more about her. She hears from her office in Egypt that Sarah has some concerns about an election program she was working on but then the office goes silent.

Daniel flies out to see what is going on in Egypt and the story takes a James Bond twist as he becomes the target of unknown assassins and has to wend his way back home facing all sorts of danger and gathering data along the way.

The story was exciting and fast-paced. The villains were larger than life but our smart computer security experts are a match for them. I enjoyed the characters in this one and would recommend it to those who read thrillers.

Favorite Quote:
"There isn't any personal tragedy caused by terrorism is my background. So I can't really...well, I can barely guess how you must feel, and I can't claim any emotional reason. Except outrage. Like a lot of people around the world who haven't personally been victims of terrorism, it disgusts me. It's an offense against reason. Maybe deep down there's nothing that scares me more than zealots, people who think they have the only right view of the world, and if you don't share it, you aren't even human. That scares me. You can't reason with them. They don't even hear you."
I bought this one Dec. 3, 2010. You can buy your copy here.

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