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REVIEW: "Runaway Heart", Stephen J. Cannell

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKRNWYHT.RVW 20050412 Runaway Heart , Stephen J. Cannell, 2003, 0-312-99718-3, U$6.99/C$9.99 %A Stephen J. Cannell www.cannell.com %C 175 Fifth Ave.,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2005
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      BKRNWYHT.RVW 20050412

      "Runaway Heart", Stephen J. Cannell, 2003, 0-312-99718-3,
      U$6.99/C$9.99
      %A Stephen J. Cannell www.cannell.com
      %C 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010
      %D 2003
      %G 0-312-99718-3
      %I St. Martin's Press
      %O U$6.99/C$9.99 212-674-5151 fax 800-288-2131
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312997183/robsladesinterne
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312997183/robsladesinte-21
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312997183/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience i- Tech 1 Writing 3 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 342 p.
      %T "Runaway Heart"

      Decent writing, sympathetic characters, good stuff but not great
      literature.

      OK, cut to the chase. How does a thriller about genetically
      engineered monsters and government conspiracies make it into the tech
      series? Well, just under the wire, as it were, but it does start out
      with a very nice piece of computer intrusion. We've got a reasonable
      hacking/cracking process. We've got a nicely set up honeypot. We've
      got a realistic second attempt (granted a bit of phone phreaking
      thrown in). Nothing overdone: very practical.

      Unfortunately, the book starts to diverge from authenticity after
      that. We've got either a super-secret government agency dumb enough
      to use weak encryption, or super-powerful "sun solar" computers. (Ten
      computers? If we are into distributed cracking we'd probably try for
      ten thousand ...) The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is
      hardly secret, in any case: they funded the basic studies that
      designed the technology underlying the Internet--and the actual work
      was done by a bunch of chatty grad students. Scramjets are given
      their proper pulse wave names--but are described as antigravity
      devices.

      (There is also a bit of inconsistency in the central character.
      Cannell can't seem to decide whether he is a conspiracy theory
      nutcase, or someone who does find legitimate legal concerns in the
      realities behind the tinfoil hat ideas.)

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2005 BKRNWYHT.RVW 20050412


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      AAAAAA - American Association Against Acronym Abuse Anonymous
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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