"When technology is attacked will we be able to survive?"
Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted September 18, 2014
Thriller Techno | Thriller Spy
Vulnerability to cyber attack sounds bad enough when it's
personal computer, office or bank that's involved. In 2012
the CIA Director stated that cyber attack on the entire US
was a plausible threat, as dangerous as any major
attack. LETHAL CODE, while fiction, builds on this premise
using known technology.
Lana Elkins is a mother in suburban DC but her work with a
tech firm puts her on alert when all the power shuts off
early one morning and cell phones can't get service.
Ordering her daughter to stay indoors where the air is
cooler, she drives out to work to see if she can find any
answers. But a train collision quickly tells her that the
whole district - at the least - is off-line.
After a frightening journey, Lara joins Princeton grads
Navy veterans at her independently-powered office, where
they decide that this chaos has the hallmarks of a
cyberattack on the whole USA. Even the Department of
Defence is off-line. News is coming in of pipeline
explosions and ship bombs while other countries have cut
off net access to protect their computers. As smoke drifts
towards the White House, the nation is at war. Lara
doesn't know it, but her bored daughter Emma has gone
outside for some activity. This wasn't a safe move.
By showing us major traffic and explosion casualties in
first chapter, the author Thomas Waite is stating that we
need to take the matter seriously. We need to know what
might happen in order to start preparing - first to
this form of terrorism, and second to cope in the event of
such an attack. Householders and civil defence forces
should plan what to do if communication fails and electric
power is lost, even for a short time.
Other well-drawn characters include young Saudi ex-pat
Mancur, blameless but under suspicion, and Candace, a
veteran of the Afghan War who protects him. The tech
experts are prominent however and we learn that the
stole information from the Secretary of Commerce's laptop,
enabling them to steal vast amounts of Pentagon data; they
also took over 1300 computers in embassies. And China's
the only cyber-nasty under suspicion. The shocks just keep
coming, making LETHAL CODE compulsive
I did think that the escalating threats became
overdone by the end, and the Middle Eastern second
isn't any more welcoming. I could have done with at least
one calm interlude. Thomas Waite is an advisor on cyber
security and has written an earlier thriller
called Terminal Value. He intends to write more cyber
thrillers, and we'd all better hope they remain fiction.
America’s worst nightmare has come true: a “cyber–Pearl
Harbor” attack by unknown terrorists has crippled the
nation’s power grid—and brought the land of the free to
knees. As widespread panic and violence ravage the
its ruthless captors issue their ultimatums…and vow an
A defenseless nation scrambles to fight an invisible
invasion. Chief among America’s last line of defense is
Elkins, head of a major cyber-security company—and former
top NSA operative—who returns to her roots to spearhead
Agency’s frantic efforts to combat the enemy’s onslaught
its own terms. While she and her superiors take action to
infiltrate a terrorist hotbed overseas, much closer to
ruthless jihadists with a nuclear bomb hijack a busload of
schoolchildren—including Lana’s daughter—and race toward a
rendezvous with Armageddon in America’s greatest city.
With Lethal Code, Thomas Waite raises the international
techno-thriller to dangerously exciting levels—introducing
valiant new action heroine, and initiating a series that
brings a harrowing new edge of realism to sensational
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