written by Joseph Finder
A solid, eerily relevant novel that keeps you reading until you run out of pages.
While standing in line at the airport waiting to retrieve his belongings, author Joseph Finder sees two identical laptops - one belonged to the lady in front of him, the other was his. But which was which? It took a moment to be sure. This planted the seed for what would eventually grow into his latest novel - The Switch.
A timely thriller starring Michael Tanner, the easy going, likable, guy next door. Tanner's life reads like the lyrics to a cry in your beer country song... His wife left, and his coffee business is barely staying afloat. Then as if some bad ju-ju was hovering over him, he accidentally picks up the wrong laptop going through airport security. Of all the laptops, in all the airports, Tanner just had to pick up this particular one.
Curiosity gets the better of him and he decides to take a lil looksie . He discovers the laptop belongs to United States Senator Susan Robbins. Oh-me Oh-my it seems Senator and Presidential hopeful Robbins has classified information about a top secret surveillance program on her personal computer. As we all have learned from recent news reports, this is a big no no, that could destroy the Senator's political career and any future aspirations! But Senator Robbins is determined to keep her secrets a secret and calls upon her loyal Chief of Staff, Will Abbott to get her laptop back.
When Tanner is unwilling to negotiate with Abbott, the overzealous aide turns to a private investigator whose services are not listed in the phone book. The "fixer" will do whatever it takes to complete the job and retrieve the laptop. At the same time, the National Security Agency has their own "fixers" applying pressure to convince Tanner to turn the laptop over. Reminiscent of The Pelican Brief and Enemy of the State, the NSA fixers begin messing up Tanner's life by deactivating all his accounts. But it's when the only person Tanner has shared the information on the laptop with turns up dead, that he realizes these people are deadly serious.
Doing the only thing he can do, Tanner goes "off the grid." If the fixers are going to use technology against him, he will stop using it and go after these thugs the old fashioned way. What ensues is an exciting, hold your breath, 389-page thrill-ride, that keeps you wondering and reading right to the last page.
Some authors create a likable protagonist the reader wants to know more about. Some create an antagonist readers can't wait to see get what's coming to them. Some authors put together a complex, thrilling story line. While others populate the story with well rounded secondary characters that add to and propel the story forward. Very few pull all these elements together in a single novel - Joseph Finder is one of those few. He's been called a modern day master thriller writer and the master of "the in over your head" novel. Simply stated Joseph Finder has an incredible imagination. He's able to take the simplest of situations and weave together a believable, realistic thriller that readers devour in one sitting, then wish there was another. Finder doesn't over-populate the shelves with books. We have to wait months, sometimes a year for a new novel. But this reader prefers to wait for a well researched, finely tuned, expertly edited novel that keeps me up all night turning pages...