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Code 6    by James Grippando order for
Code 6
by James Grippando
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2023 (2023)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

James Grippando's thriller Code 6 introduces playwright Kate Gamble, who's been working for a very long time on a script about the dangers of data mining. It's a topic close to her heart - and to her family. Her father Christian is CEO of Buck Technologies, a private company that does work for the CIA, NSA and most Western counter-terrorism organizations.

As the novel opens, Kate's mother dies by suicide, leaving a note: 'I did it for Kate.' Director Irving Bass shows interest in her script. Her old friend Noah Dunn, a cybercrimes prosecutor, tells her he's heading up a Buck Audit. And Kate's childhood friend Patrick Battle, a golden boy in Buck's inner circle - about to be interviewed by Noah - disappears on a corporate outward-bound adventure in Colombia.

Patrick's experience goes way beyond the usual, with a guide (Javier) who first tries to kill him, and later kidnaps him. The perps (who change over time) demand Code 6 (a Buck stealth 'scraping tool' to harvest data from existing platforms) from Kate as ransom. She is determined to save Patrick, no matter who she has to work with to do so. Action is nonstop from that point on.

Of course, it ends well and Kate's play is a huge success. In addition to its gripping, intricate plot, what makes this novel worth your time is its very timely focus on the dangers of data mining by bad actors - from the Nazis to this day. Code 6 is thought provoking and a must read.

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