TV writer Chapman’s debut novel is a nonstop chase scene through the global connectivity of our times.
China and the U.S. face off away from the reporters and photo-ops, leaving intentions and gambits visible only to those who can see the patterns contained in a barrage of news reports, stock and futures trading activity, and the cultural peculiarities of superpower politics. Garrett Reilly, a brilliant Yale dropout, is making more than a good living as a bond trader on Wall Street. He is the new breed of entrepreneur: a young, fast-living, video game geek carrying a grudge for the military that let his brother die. But he is a genius at connecting dots. Enter Alexis Truffant, the beautiful U.S. Army captain who recruits Garrett for the lead role in a secret military project called Ascendant. Financial markets in the states are troubled one by one in succession—government bonds, real estate in Las Vegas—and the control programs for U.S. nuclear power plants are invaded by a virus that turns the Midwest into darkness and chaos. All clues lead to Chinese hacking. Garrett heads up a team of misfits who use their gaming abilities and technical expertise to turn the tables and mount full-scale war on China in cyberspace. Garrett literally becomes Master of the Universe, as he can scan and understand the big picture without the limiting blinders of politics and patriotism. Chapman writes one great thriller, pulling together parallel storylines and levels of mystery. This is a wild ride through the headlines of our times. The characters are engaging, and although the ending comes up short (perhaps for an intended sequel or series), the book is invigorating.
Chapman has managed a true seat-of-the-pants ride on an international scale.