How secure are your secrets in the virtual world? Weeks before pharma-giant Acel is ready to file a global patent application for cancer wonder-drug Colare, its offshore data centre in Mumbai is hacked. The charismatic, young leader of its Indian business, Dr Udai Vir Dhingra, finds himself being blamed for negligence and breach of security. Battling market pressures, media scrutiny, livid American bosses and crumbling relationships, Vir must find the perpetrators, or see his career – and his life – spiral downwards. But the deeper he gets dragged into the shadowy world of masked online identities and muddied digital footprints, the more Vir discovers that nothing is easy or obvious, and everything has a price. Set across Mumbai, Washington and Guangzhou, Breach is a compelling and edgy cyber thriller that explores the dark and dangerous underbelly of our increasingly virtual existence
This is one book that measures up to the International standards of story telling in terms research, plot and detailing.
This is the first cyber crime thriller that I have read which is written by an Indian Author and was completely drawn into the world of computers, codes, data and the ugly underworld of hacking and of course its repercussions.
As the Title suggests, there is a Breach in the computer data collecting system that holds the data for the new wonder-drug Colare, which was supposed to cure pancreatic cancer. This Breach could cost millions of dollars and a loss of patenting the drug for the pharma giant Acel which would push them back in the race and competition.
The story starts in Rockville, Maryland and takes us on a roller coaster ride around Mumbai, Washington and China yet there is no confusion in following the story as each chapter is just 2 or 3 pages keeping it short and to the point.
There are many characters in this novel and given the extensiveness of the story, this was needed. Dr. Vir, a doctor of bioengineering and the head of the Acel in India comes across as a typical, handsome, Ivy League hi-fi executive with class and the ability to show his mantle when both his career and his personal life are spiraling down.
I was fascinated by the cyber talk, the darkness of the hacking world and how it is easy to seamlessly blend into someone's life by just entering their computer! The online names, the games, the passwords and the hidden messages, the easiness and the readiness of the younger generation to explore and be drawn into this dark world...it is scary. It was also shocking to know that this is common, very common.
I got so involved in the story that I could feel the tension myself and because I lack the technical knowledge, it was frustrating :)
But all this technical explanations slowed me down as I wanted to understand them with regard to this story. Somewhere I felt the author went overboard with this extensive explanation because it does not really matter to a reader without science or computer knowledge.
The story gets a bit tedious towards the end. Tracey, Vir's fiancee's Goan holiday, or the chapter where Diti is introspecting herself, few chapters about Raghu, Suv, Madhu and Ankita added nothing to the story. The end could have been more dramatic given the adrenaline high of the chase.
Verdict : An interesting and an engaging read. Go for it.
Meet the Author
Amrita Verma Chowdhury is the author of Faking It, an art crime thriller about fake modern and contemporary Indian art.
She holds engineering degrees from IIT Kanpur and UC Berkeley, where she was a Jane Lewis Fellow, and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon (Tepper Business School). Her work as an engineer in Silicon Valley led to seven US patents for semi-conductor fabrication – something to show for those bad-haired days. She has done Strategy Consulting and Board Effectiveness work in the US and Australia and has spent long nights fitting five-syllable words inside two-by-two squares. She has worked in the rarefied bastions of Ivy League education bringing together ideas and people. She currently works in publishing.
She lives in Mumbai with her husband Sumit, their two children Shoumik and Aishani, and an assortment of pets including a cocker spaniel, a guinea pig and two turtles. She loves travelling, baking cupcakes with her daughter and hearing from her readers.
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