Donna Andrews, Author . Berkley Prime Crime $22.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-18856-9

In Andrews's second exciting computer-as-sleuth mystery (after 2002's You've Got Murder), "Artificial Intelligence Personality" Hopper Turing draws on all her cyber skills to help investigate the murder of a gifted computer programmer, Ray Santiago, found shot to death in a Washington, D.C., alley, his laptop stolen. Turing and human colleagues Maude Graham and Tim Pincoski at Universal Library outside D.C. discover that Ray cleverly constructed a false identity and was deeply involved in the role-playing game subculture. Dangerous criminals have been preying on those gamers who turn to live-action role playing. The narrative mimics real software with layers of security for access to different databases and with worms to deny access and destroy intruders. Explanations of a few technical terms will ease the way for readers with little computer background, but those who are computer literate will most appreciate the author's talent for blending information-age details with an enjoyable crime puzzle. (May 6)

FYI:Andrews is also the author of Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon (Forecasts, Jan. 20) and other titles in her Meg Langslow series.

Reviewed on: 04/21/2003
Release date: 05/01/2003
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-425-19529-1
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