Breakthrough

R. J. Pineiro, Author, P. J. Pineiro, Author
R. J. Pineiro, Author, P. J. Pineiro, Author Forge $23.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-85983-1
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-1283-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-8125-4390-2
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The brave new frontier of biotechnology spices up the formula of this fast-paced, suspenseful, if gimmicky post-Cold War espionage thriller by Pineiro (Exposure). Jake Fischer is the founder and CEO of Fischer Technologies Inc., a start-up company developing super-fast biochips that will revolutionize the computer industry. Unfortunately, Jake's dream is consumed by flames when the company's Silicon Valley plant is razed in an explosion that takes the lives of his development team, including his chief programmer, who is also his girlfriend. Stalked by would-be assassins, Jake is rescued by lovely Sonya Wuttenberg, an FBI agent. Soon Jake learns of a complex international plot to steal his new technology, a threat that inspired the FBI to surreptitiously put Jake's company under surveillance. Jake's assailants are actually henchmen of a former KGB assassin known as ""The Cardinal,"" and when his company's Russian chief engineer (who also happens to be an ex-KGB agent) barely escapes the Cardinal's clutches, Jake reluctantly joins forces with the FBI to battle the killer. Pineiro's background as an engineer helps him to make the biotechnology material lucid, although the tense realism is undercut by his far-fetched portrayal of the worldwide economic meltdown that would occur if the technology were introduced too fast. While Jake is a solid hero, however, none of the other characters or situations become credible or compelling enough to take this tale beyond quick and easy entertainment. (Sept.)
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