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Length: 614 pages9 hours


FACT: As many as 400 million computers connect the Internet today. No one knows the exact number. If all that brainpower functioned as one mind it would be at least 100,000 times smarter than anyone who ever lived, maybe a million times smarter. Some hackers are no better than vandals spewing out viruses the way a juvenile delinquent scrawls dirty pictures across a toilet stall. But the best hackers build botnets, robotic network attack engines. One of these man-made predators can grow exponentially by assimilating millions of computers into a single hive mind. The resulting virtual hunter invades financial networks and steals cash and identities. It invades the biggest data centers and steals computer time to build its own strength. The creation of botnets has become so commonplace that it’s only a matter of time before some evil genius hacks the mother of all ‘bots and wakes up the whole ‘Net as a single global predator with the intellect of a god and the conscience of a grenade.

FICTION: Who killed super-hacker Sammie Collins? The trail is hot but the clues seem to point in all directions for AJ Sanchez, the genius-engineer-lawyer-cop who comes to town on Sammie’s trail, only to find him dead in his own living room. Deputy Randi Patterson is the local sheriff assigned to the case and she needs no help from the NSA, thank you very much. She’s a tomboy county cop with starlet looks and a real mean streak. As the reluctant partnership opens the investigation Randi and AJ discover a murder made without hands. Then AJ wanders into the cross-hairs, and Randi begins to realize that AJ is more to her than competition from Washington. Together they start hunting the hunter, the smartest most dangerous predator imaginable.

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