Ulterior Motive

Daniel Oran, Author Kensington Publishing Corporation $22.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-57566-302-9
Former Microsoft bigwig Oran's devilish debut techno-thriller is sure to seduce even computer illiterates. Project manager for a hot new software program at Seattle's giant Megasoft campus, Jonathan Goodman sees a colleague shot by a fellow employee in a company garage, a killing promptly covered up by Megasoft security. When Goodman mistakes reporter Karen Grey's business call for an inquiry about the murder, he sets in motion an investigation that drags them both in deep enough to get fired (thanks to computer-generated frame-ups). Desperate and isolated, Goodman tries to sneak in to see his mentor--presidential candidate and Megasoft founder Jack Malcolm--with disastrous results. After a hacker boy-genius helps them uncover software clues that reveal a corporate conspiracy for world domination, Goodman and Grey embark on a gigamegaherz race to foil the plot and derail the killers. Although he avoids simplistic explications of the book's plot-driving techie advances, Oran will hook even the least plugged-in readers with his villains' Orwellian e-machinations. The romantic subplots introduce a strong, credible female character, the Seattle setting has the reliability of a roadmap, and Megasoft's goofy campus headquarters, slavish, youthful staff and life-invading technology give this dystopian thriller not just the ring of truth but the marks of an inside job. (July) FYI: After working at Harvard with behaviorist B.F. Skinner, Oran invented the Start button and the Taskbar for Windows 95.
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-7860-0657-1
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 978-0-7592-1210-7
Paperback - 284 pages - 978-0-7592-1215-2
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