When a video surfaces on the Dark Web showing a murder she herself solved, the sole suspect dead at the scene, FBI Special Agent Ericka Blackwood starts her pursuit, but is unprepared for what she finds. Hidden behind an avatar named Dantalion, a criminal mastermind is feeding his sadistic appetites by directing and experiencing the twisted crimes of others – and he’s been doing it for years. As Ericka homes in on her target, the tables are turned and she faces the most skilled hacker she’s ever encountered. Dantalion knows her secrets and has information that Ericka has sought for years to fulfil a deeply personal quest, but only if she pays his price, risking her career, her life, and her ability to prevent his greatest crime. And time is running out.
“Scanlan blends a dystopian science fiction with mystery and thrillers to create an amazing, fast-paced novel with never a dull moment. From the first chapter, I was locked into this phenomenal book. In the age of social media, dark secrets, and technology comes a genre transcending novel of literal and literary crime and punishment. The Hacker is not a book to be missed and should immediately be at the top of your To Be Read pile.” – Stuart Ashenbrenner , Best Thriller Books
“The virtual interactions and cat-and-mouse chases between Ericka and her nemesis give you pause with how scary, intimate, and awe-striking they feel as rendered in vivid descriptions by Daniel Scanlan. There’s no dull moment as the heat of the chase simmers until the inevitable climax that explodes in a fury of action and twists that leave you shook and battered as much as the characters. If you’re aching for a brainy thriller that deviates from the generic storylines, you’re going to love The Hacker. From the unconventional protagonist in her unhindered mission towards catching her prey all the way to the emphasis on realistic cyberspace depiction with a haunting insight into its usage for evil, The Hacker is a spectacular stand-out read.” – Kashif Hussain, Best Thriller Books
Daniel Scanlan recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, THE HACKER.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
The still unexplained loss of MH 370 over the south pacific. The final crime in the book is the remote hijacking of an airliner.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
I didn’t until I started writing it and it grew organically from the process.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
As always, the music of Hans Zimmer.
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
My protagonist, Ericka, is a composition of several very talented female tech crime investigators it has been my privilege to work with over the years. What they do to bring these kind of criminals to justice is a story that really hasn’t been told, nor has the personal toll it takes on them.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
How much this area of crime has absolutely exploded over the last few years, how hard it is to take them down, and how hard it is on the people who do it.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
I am finalizing the sequel, The Exploit, and plotting out two further books in the series as we as two spinoff prequels.
Daniel Scanlan is a former prosecutor of twenty-seven years experience, fifteen of that cybercrime, digital evidence, wiretap, smuggling, and money laundering. He wrote the non-fiction Digital Evidence in Criminal Law and was a contributing author to The Lawyer’s Guide to the Forensic Sciences, winner of the Walter Owen Book Prize. He lives on Vancouver Island and enjoys ocean kayaking and hiking. When not outdoors, he is reading and will read almost anything, except books about lawyers. The Hacker is his first novel and his second, The Exploit, will be out in September.
To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.