cover image The History Book

The History Book

Humphrey Hawksley, . . Warner, $24.99 (339pp) ISBN 978-0-446-52744-6

Set in the surveillance society of the near future, this whirlwind thriller from BBC correspondent Hawksley (The Third War ) puts Kat Polinski, a convicted computer hacker just sprung from jail, to work for a division of Homeland Security. Kat's job is to break into foreign embassies and ransack their computers, searching for secret data useful to the U.S. When Kat infiltrates the Kazakhstan embassy, she finds a bunch of dead people and has to shoot her way out, killing two gunmen in the process. She then learns that her sister, Suzy, who's been living in England, has been murdered. On the lam from her own government, Kat hightails it to London, the most security-intense city in the world, to search for Suzy's killer. Hawksley lingers a little too often over security tech toys, but eventually breaks out the weaponry as Kat slings lead while making one hairsbreadth escape after another. (Aug.)