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Gatekeeper - Mike Smart "In any number of locations around the world the unthinkable was
happening: traffic management systems were malfunctioning causing
a multitude of accidents; payrolls were paying the wrong amounts;
bank accounts were being frozen for no apparent reason; heating
systems were coming on at the wrong time and power grids were
inexplicably going on and off line. All of these apparently
unrelated events were happening at the same time undermining the
basic fabric of modern society's way of life."

What on Earth do you buy a man that has everything he could ever want? How about a key to an alternate reality that controls every facet of the world that Fortune 500 corporations, heads of state, federal infrastructure and normal citizens utilize on an everyday basis. Through this gateway you are lead to the information super highway, in this prestigious position if you want to understand the power that this man possesses you better come prepared or risk certain death. Like the last man on Earth any sign of presence in his realm will provide you an immediate cause for concern.

Jack Hunter is the owner of a Meta Enterprises, a billion-dollar corporation in the data mining and analytics industry. Becoming bored of money Jack became obsessed with owning all the data in the world because in the very end knowledge is power. His main priority was establishing a presence and creating power and influence in the world of big business and central governments. His pursuits left him an immoral, and disloyal megalomaniac. Observing market trends, global economics, and other precarious measures is a little unnerving for a control freak like Jack. After years of product development he wholeheartedly believes that he has come across the answer to one of the biggest problems he has ever faced. With the help of his right hand man and muscle behind the hustle Sergei Stanski, his primary Information Technologist Felix, and business associate Kirsten, Jack is about to take the world over, whether he, or the world are ready for it or not.

Max Prior or "Thatcher" was at one point a graduate in Business Studies, now if you know Max like I know Max then you would realize that a change of career would be occurring a little quicker than your typical ten years. Upon graduating he decides to follow in his father's footsteps and join the armed forces. Traveling around the world over the years he had become an exceptional naval officer for the special boat services. A few years removed Max has owned Falcon Services Limited, a close protection security business that charges an exorbitant rate for premium service. Unfortunately Max's business gets a little more personal than he would like when his little sister Serena has disappeared after an impromptu trip to Monaco.

This book is a very fast paced and a no nonsense thriller that I quite enjoyed but will not be widely-accepted by everyone. The authors passion for the covered subjects is most certainly tangible. To me it remind me of a 21st century blend of Stephen King's short story Trucks and Orwell's 1984 with the unpredictable nature of the unknown and the possible presence of a person manning the controls like Earth was his very own chess board. It is incredibly detailed into the virtual world, algorithms, military strategy and artificial intelligence. It's rather funny because often times throughout the book, the less technically-savvy characters ask the more IT involved characters to speak plain English when it comes to advanced features, it felt like this would have been a conversation I would have had with the author. I get the feeling after completing this story that the author wrote the book that he wanted to write and like his lead antagonist stuck to his guns. This story may be one that readers may be hesitant to read because the author challenges them to expand their frame of reference. If the reader goes in with an open-minded approach and embraces the fact that there is a great story with an array of well-developed characters than you will also gain a clearer understanding of the potential grand-scale danger involved with a heavily technology-reliant society beyond being "unfriended" on Facebook.

"The global media companies were having a field day picking up the
more calamitous - and in their opinion, newsworthy-events. With
every passing hour there was another headline: last night's mid-
air catastrophic plane collision competing with an oil tanker
running around; a nuclear reactor going critical; public
transport systems failing to operate. All these events so far
unexplained, no one had joined up the dots."