On the Bookshelf...

Digital Fortress

Dan Brown

When the National Security Agency's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls in its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage - not by guns or bombs, but by a code so complex that if released would cripple U.S. intelligence. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves...

Dan Brown is an author probably better known for The DaVinci Code. A huge worldwide hit, it brought Dan into the public's consciousness. Digital Fortress is one of the ones he wrote before the DaVinci Code, and I believe reissued when he became famous. As such it doesn't have the same intricacies as his seminal work. Not that it's not a decent read, but the depth isn't quite there.

As a lover of The DaVinci Code, well what's not to love about secret societies and a secret kept for two millennia? Whilst it borrowed heavily from The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, another book I devoured from beginning to end. I love that sort of book, even though not high fiction and a little cheesy. Luckily, there's some good ones out there, to make up for lots of filler.

Anyway, I digress. The book in hand is Digital Fortress. This a different sort of beast. Set in the world of intelligence and cybercrime, it tells of a Security Advisor who finds that a possible unbreakable code is about to be released to the world. It causes panic in the world amongst the intelligence agencies, as it means they can no longer eavesdrop on the world. The Americans send a college professor to try to get the code before its released. Thats when the 'fun' starts.

It isn't a bad book to read. It's got lots of nuggets of factoids dotted throughout, yet it doesn't quite have the intricate layers to it that Dan Browns later novels have. If it had been another author, I might have liked it higher, yet you judge it by the name on the book. Dan Brown is in a bigger font than the book title after all.

So only gained a three towers read. Sadly, not a classic, but if you've a few spare hours then give it a read.

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Review by
AJ Steel
July 24, 2023

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