Offline

Lawrence Goldstone, Author Minotaur Books $22.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-18641-8
Smug, middle-age cop Phil Gagliardi seems to have all the answers when he's called in to investigate the death of 31-year-old computer company executive Glynnis S. Rodman in Goldstone's (Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World) pedestrian, comic-book 21st century. More is off balance than on target in this cyberthriller, which revolves around a watered-down, far less captivating version of Hal, the computer from 2001: an artificial intelligence prototype with a self-revising subroutine that Phil and his associates must learn to neutralize. Two of his cohorts are old schoolfriends, Mitchell Padgett (requisite childlike geek) and Sulimanijir Patel (sports fanatic). Together, the two men founded the world's largest computer company, parted ways and now must reunite for the sake of the world. Phil's father, Phil Sr., an ex-cop, offers pretech advice to the trio. Several bodies fall along the way. Adolescent e-sex, cliched dialogue and familiar observations on the banality of evil fail to give this novel the jolt it needs. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1998
Release date: 04/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
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