Review: Broken Genius

There’s nothing like a widget that could be used to rule the world to build a book around.

Look, it wasn’t terrible. It just wasn’t very good, not to me. Drew Murray novel features wunderkind Will Parker, formerly the CEO of a tech startup, who goes to work for the FBI after he makes a mistake in one of his programs that leaves a young woman dead.

That’s my kind-of-unbelievable-thing number one. Number two was the Fukishima Unicorn, the previously mentioned widget that could be used to control everything, which has gone missing after the 2011 tsunami that took out most of Fukishima. I suppose if you’re going to go big, you might as well go BIG.

Parker is called in on a case involving a dead guy at a comic convention. Also turning up is Dana Lopez, a detective with the local police department (and who I bet would share a bed with Parker before the book was over). Decker, a buttoned down FBI agent is Parker’s partner on the case. Clues start building, and eventually it’s discovered that the dead man had (at some point) the Unicorn, which technically still belongs to Parker’s old company. But there are other people after it: Russians, a Chinese hacker named Dragoniis, and a couple other mysterious bidders. To up the stakes, the dead man’s daughter is taken hostage, which brings in the requisite “guy who failed previously has a chance at redemption” part of the story.

I won’t go into a lot of detail about how the teams tracks down the bidders and the killer – pretty standard thriller/mystery story there, with some chases and SWAT teams and hunches.

It was ok. I didn’t particularly care for Parker, as i found him a tad too full of himself, and some of his thoughts (repeated “Gross.”, for instance) seemed to be more something a teenager would say, versus a billionaire whiling away time working for the FBI in cybercrimes. I think it also bugged me that this is yet another entry in the field of “million/billionaires working for peanuts in law enforcement and who can also use their own resources/money/companies to push the story forward”.

Overall, it wasn’t unreadable. It sounds like faint praise, but if you’re into tech, as I am, you might want to take all the IT stuff with a giant grain of salt and just enjoy a murder mystery/saving the world thriller that takes place at ComicCom.

2.5 stars out of 5.

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