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The Devil's Code


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About the Author

John Sandford is the pseudonym of Pulitzer-prize winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of ten Prey novels, and two previous Kidd novels. He lives in Minnesota.


Ethical thief, artist, and hacker Kidd and his sometime lover/partner LuEllen uncover a vast electronic conspiracy involving a corporation and a cadre of U.S. government bureaucrats in The Devil's Code. The plot involves two seemingly unrelated murders, one an old buddy of Kidd's. The dialog is entertaining and helps build the high-tech atmosphere of this Internet suspense story of greed, conspiracy, and murder. Character development is a bit shallow, and as the story unfolds, Kidd's network of hacker pals conveniently always give him what he needs. Richard Ferrone's no-nonsense reading is clear and easy to follow. Fans of Sandford's "Prey" novels will be less satisfied with this mediocre mystery, although the use of the Internet here does make it more intriguing. Recommended for large mystery collections only. Denise A. Garofalo, Mid-Hudson Lib. Syst., Poughkeepsie, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

The sister of a man who died suddenly turns for help to Kidd, artist, computer whiz and professional criminal. Before long Kidd and his partner/lover LuEllen are up to their neck in trouble - computer hackers, scientists and crooked businessmen all play their parts as Kidd gets closer to finding out the truth behind his friend's death. A compelling page-turner with a fast-moving plot.

Would that Sandford, creator of the marvelous and bestselling Prey thrillers, had heeded Thomas Wolfe's advice about going home again. Instead, he's resurrected a hero from his previous crime series (The Fool's Run, etc.) in his latest thriller, which begins when the infamous KiddÄartist, computer expert and master criminalÄis called in to investigate the mysterious death of a former colleague in Texas. Working with the victim's sister, Kidd slowly uncovers a massive computer conspiracy masterminded by St. John Corbeil, the president of a Texas microchip company, whose excesses spiral out of control when the company's product (after gaining a foothold in the world of intelligence) bombs in the commercial marketplace. At first Kidd is inclined to steer clear of the seamier side of the conspiracy, but when several members of his own high-powered criminal group are implicated and the National Security Agency begins scrutinizing his operation, he brings in his part-time partner and lover, LuEllen, to help with the investigation. Their probe turns dangerous when the corporate kingpin hires a pair of assassins to hunt down Kidd, eventually forcing him to focus on a mano-a-mano duel with Corbeil. Sandford pens plenty of stirring action scenes as Kidd's encore unfolds, and it's clear that the author likes playing with his hero's shady sensibility and the chemistry he enjoys with the versatile and erotic LuEllen. But despite his edgy and sometimes provocative narrative style, Sandford struggles to bring a sense of urgency to the narrative. Kidd's return will be welcome news for Sandford fans, but the tepid plot makes his comeback a pedestrian affair. 400,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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