Review - SURVEILLANCE, Bernard Keane
Set in Sydney, SURVEILLANCE is billed as a cyber-thriller about government spying and corporate underhanded behaviour. A timely and really interesting subject to be explored, this was picked up with much anticipation.
Perhaps the expectations were wrongly set, but SURVEILLANCE quickly felt like it was less about hacker and cyber-vulnerability and more about corporate corruption. Then there's the enthusiastic sexual conquest pursuit that would have made Sydney Sheldon or Harold Robbins envious.
The sex scenes are, frankly, breathtaking. Not in a good way though. Whilst it might be possible to imagine that everyone in a major international corporation is spending most of their working life trying to sleep with and/or managing to sleep with just about everybody else in the same timezone, it did get to the stage where you couldn’t help but wonder how anyone actually got any work done - especially as Veldtech is a cybersecurity company and not the porn production environment that it started to feel like.
As a big picture, big corporate and government corruption story it had some points to make, although some of the technical aspects felt a little wobbly at times, and the plot elements revolving around Veldtech Industries “desperate secret” overly convenient. Certainly it seemed less about true cyber-vulnerability and more about a planned, targeted corporate money grab. Perhaps with a little less concentration on the sex and a lot more on the potential damage of a corporate gone feral, it would have been a slightly more balanced book, although if you're looking for a potboiler airport style big thriller then SURVEILLANCE may work for you.
'They called him an info-terrorist and launched a worldwide hunt for the hacker humiliating the Australian government. But by the time they'd caught their man, there was a new superwarrior in the annals of the Cyber War . . .'
The government is spying on everyone. But who is spying on the government?
A ruthless online activist group called Kittehsaurus Rox has hacked into top-secret Cabinet information and gone public with it, creating widespread panic and embarrassing a government that will stop at nothing to hunt down 'KSR'.
Journalist and cyber-expert Kat Sharpe is chosen by KSR to break news of their operations, and overnight she becomes the media sensation she has always longed to be. But as she gets closer to KSR and its circle of supporters, she can't shake the feeling that something doesn't add up.
Cybersecurity company Veldtech Industries is in line to make a fortune out of the carnage created by the hackers. But they have their own desperate secrets to protect - from the government and from each other.