Blackbird Singing

Jay Amberg, Author, Jay Ambert, Author
Jay Amberg, Author, Jay Ambert, Author Forge $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-86554-2
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998
Release date: 08/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-8125-9006-7
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The word ""hacker"" takes on ugly associations in this violent high-tech thriller from Amberg (Deep Gold). Nine-year-old Tonya, daughter of Chicago Bulls star Robert ""Sky"" Walker and news anchor Monique Jones-Walker, has been kidnapped by a deranged Internet fanatic with a past as an abused child, a long memory and a thirst for vengeance. As computer expert James Robert Saville uses his skills to terrify the Walker family, the chase quickly becomes a battle of wills between him and investigator Tom Hopkins, once a basketball player himself. Ace TV reporter ""Pit Bull"" Bollinger seeks stardom through news bits, while Bert Adelman, the Walkers' business manager, begins his own investigation, with unforeseen and unpleasant results. Indeed, much of the novel's unpleasantness is gratuitous, or at least a violation of the genre's conventions. Tonya is maimed by her captor--symbolically appropriate, perhaps, but unnecessarily graphic. The computer details remain sketchy, and, though the chase is exciting and swift and the relationship between hunter and hunted plausible, the atmosphere of sadness, anger and fear, and the venal motives of several key players, make reading about them an exercise in endurance. (Oct.)
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