Thursday, November 02, 2006

Killer Instinct, by Joseph Finder

This was a good one. It came out just this year, and the library had it on CD. It's another great narration by Scott Brick.

Jason Steadman is a successful salesman at a company that makes big, hi-def screens. He's losing his passion to succeed just as his young wife is yearning to start a family. She comes from a well-to-do family, and is dissatisfied with Jason's lack of fire.

All this seems to change after Jason has an accident where he meets an ex-special forces guy named Kurt who drives the tow truck. Jason helps the guy out and gets him a job in security with his corporation, in spite of the dishonorable discharge he got from the military. Not long after Kurt is hired, things start breaking Jason's way. His enemies at the company have misfortune befall them and competitors have a rash of bad luck that brings customers back into the fold. It seems that Kurt is grateful and is doing a little espionage to repay Jason's kindness.

Both Jason and his enemies start getting suspicious, and Kurt has to start covering his tracks. Kurt's offhand remark about what the Marines say, "No better friend; No worse enemy," starts to come true. Jason is now in danger because he has turned on his friend.

There is lots of eerie high tech crime here to go with the brutality. It gives one pause to see how corporate security can be used to control and manipulate people, for both good and evil. It made me wonder what other things could have been going on at Hewlet-Packard this year when they got in trouble for monitoring email. Perhaps the employees had read this book and freaked.

A 4-Star effort for Joe Finder (pronounced with the short i sound, as in "window") with no graphic sex, but some graphic language.


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