This electrifying debut thriller delivers a gripping tale of Big Brother gone mad amid a modern world on the verge of endless war. Brimming with high-powered suspense, here is the brilliant, frighteningly believable story of three masterminds locked on a breathtaking collision cours—the outcome of which will determine the fate of the United States.
Circumference of Darkness
Twenty-two-year-old Jeannie Reese is a computer wunderkind—and the top architect of next-generation security for the Department of Defense. Her latest brainchild is IRIN, the most powerful surveillance technology ever developed. To date, IRIN has remained ultraclassified and inactive. But on the day a shocking act of terrorism strikes U.S. shores, the presidential order comes to launch Jeannie’s creation against the dark forces behind the attack.
Known only as Phr33k, forty-one-year-old John Fagan is a legendary, reclusive computer hacker. For years he has expertly hidden himself while operating freely within the shadows of the Internet’s background noise. He has remained in complete seclusion despite his infamy as the author of a slew of massive electronic crimes—and despite his long-ago, now eerily prophetic, scenarios of terrorist warfare against America.
Under Jeannie’s direction, IRIN gathers and analyzes endless data—and unearths Phr33k. If she is to stop the next stage of a terror campaign clearly begun years before, Jeannie will have to find the überhacker; but that is only the beginning. For she soon discovers that Phr33k is being held by the leader of a vast terrorist network, who now plans to use this unique genius to conceive and deliver his final, fatal blow: a devastating nationwide wave of unparalleled destruction.
For his part, Phr33k is used to working alone. But all that will have to change.
He has a new challenge, one unlike any he’s faced before: how to provide Jeannie Reese with one outrageous, impossible shot to short-circuit the perfect, unstoppable scheme he so masterfully—and so unwillingly—helped to create.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Circumference of Darkness|
|Release Date: 06-26-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Circumference of Darkness
Jeannie Reese looked out through the tint of the wide conference room window, took a deep breath in, closed her eyes, and exhaled on an eight-count. All hell was breaking loose throughout the building. But here of all places, didn’t business still have to be done?
Her meeting had been interrupted by the news of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Sixteen minutes ago she’d called a ten-minute break, and her audience had scattered like fifth-graders at the bell on the last day of school.
Sixteen wasted minutes, Jeannie thought, and by all evidence you’re the only one on the floor with your wits about you. There’s work to be done, and this act of war only underscores the urgency of that work.
People are dying, yes, I understand. People die every day. If I’m the only one who sees the need to keep my head on straight, so be it. I will not be terrorized. We must focus. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary people.
That word—extraordinary—had been yoked to her for as long as she could remember. By age 10, she had achieved more notoriety as a theoretical heurist than the combined army of Princeton mathematicians they’d deployed to evaluate her. She had been a rare find—a true math prodigy and a computer wunderkind wrapped in a single, recruitable unit.
Before she’d hit puberty, she had proven herself capable of thinking deeper and wider than the best in the field, and a precocious Mozart in the emerging art of differential cryptanalysis. And though she had only achieved legal drinking age last year, it was Jeannie’s charge to design and marshal the government’s eyes and ear