5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing cyber tech & international thriller – great read!, May 6, 2014
“The Alexandria Project” is a fascinating mystery thriller that begins when file directories are being compromised at the Library of Congress (LoC); a flaming image and a thank you note left in their place. When Frank Adversego, a disgruntled but brilliant cyber security expert at the LoC becomes the CIA’s chief suspect, he decides to investigate and finds a connection to international espionage and a conspiracy to annihilate two major American cities. What he doesn’t expect is to become of the target of an FBI manhunt.Andrew Updegrove ‘s narrative looks not only at IT architecture, but its security and the impact a lack of safety could have on military/weapons deployment. It is well-researched and technical in places but as the plot progresses, it quickly heats up as Frank Adversego not only uncovers the identity of those involved in the Alexandria Project but also the far- reaching consequences of the hackers’ intrusion into computer networks across America. Within the narrative Andrew Updegrove has woven subplots that deal with a contest of wills between the FBI and CIA, an intelligence leak and a missile crisis. All converge in a climax that’s not only explosive but has shocking implications.
The characters are well-developed and multi-faceted especially Frank Adversego Jr., the anti-social, highly intelligent cyber guru who’s concentration is absolute when solving a problem. Although at work he’s considered an unreliable genius and bull-headed, his redeeming qualities include a loving and forgiving heart as well as a wry sense of humor. Marla Adversego is the opposite of her father; sociable, posed and self-assured. She’s very protective of her father and in her dealings with the CIA tends to be perceptive, shrewd and feisty. Agent Carl Cummings seems self-important, arrogant and proud, but in his job is dedicated and reliable. George Marchand, Frank’s boss is an innate leader who’s secretive, but supportive and trusting. I especially liked Lily, the obese overly affectionate Corgi who seems to undermine Frank’s boredom with her energetic spirit and Frank Thatcher, the amiable and wily retired FBI agent. All the characters in the novel add strength and colour to a story that’s riveting with all its twists and turns.
I hope in future novels we’ll see more of the indomitable Frank Adversego, a refreshingly flawed hero. I thoroughly enjoyed this cyber thriller and highly recommend it.