Over 550 book reviews with full author links

23 February 2014

J A Jance: Moving Target

Click to see in Amazon
Not a very exciting thriller
"Moving Target" is one of the most unexciting crime/cyber thrillers that I have read recently. It is a lot of mundane private detective mumbo jumbo mixed up with a bit of cyber nonsense to give it a contemporary feel.

Ali Reynolds is getting stressed with plans for her forthcoming wedding to wizard computer security expert, B. Simpson. She is only too happy to go with her octogenarian gay assistant Leland Brooks to see his estranged family in England that he hasn't seen since his father disowned him at the end of the Korean War because of his sexuality. The big plus is that she can choose a wedding dress away from the watching eye of her interfering mother.

While in England they meet with Leland's mixed up family ranging from a charming and helpful gay young man to a couple of bitter and nasty cousins - Maisie and Daisy (oh dear!). In the process they find out that nobody had told Leland that his father was murdered and the case is still open. Ali and Leland get access to bloodstained clothing and set out to get DNA to try to prove that the murderer was Leland's unscrupulous but now dead brother, Langston.

Back in Texas teenage computer genius Lance Tucker has developed some ground-breaking software GHOST that will revolutionise web security. Before he can finalise the software he is put into juvenile detention after he hacked and closed down the school district's computer system in protest at a proposal that all students should wear a trackable identity bracelet. While Lance is in detention someone sprays him with a flammable liquid and sets him on fire. His computer teacher apparently commits suicide and Lance and his family are in danger from people wanting to use the software for criminal purposes.

Ali's fiancée B. Simpson, called B. because his real name is Bart [oh dear!] is a rich computer security expert. B investigates what is happening to Lance because he feels responsible for Lance getting an excessive sentence for a reasonably trivial offence. B. is interested in hiring Lance to develop GHOST for legitimate purposes. From all parts of the world B. get his associates try to protect Lance from evil forces. The most charismatic character is a Catholic Sister that B. sends to help Lance. She doesn't believe in guns but always carries a taser for her personal protection (of dear!). B. also uses a retired priest who happens to be a former Navy SEAL (oh dear!).

All in all this was not a very exciting read. The English sidetrack added nothing to the plot and IMHO Ms Jance should leave cyber-crime to others who are better qualified in that complex area. This is the first time I have encountered Ali Reynolds and B. who are not exactly the kind of charismatic characters I would expect to see as the lead in a popular crime series.

No comments:

Post a Comment