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Dan Brown : Digital Fortress: A Thriller

Author: Dan Brown
Title: Digital Fortress: A Thriller
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Published in: English
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 448
Date: 2004-01-05
ISBN: 0312995423
Publisher: St. Martin's
Latest: 2015/05/17
Weight: 0.45 pounds
Size: 1.2 x 4.16 x 6.8 inches
Edition: 2nd Revised
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Description: Product Description
When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls 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. Review
In most thrillers, "hardware" consists of big guns, airplanes, military vehicles, and weapons that make things explode. Dan Brown has written a thriller for those of us who like our hardware with disc drives and who rate our heroes by big brainpower rather than big firepower. It's an Internet user's spy novel where the good guys and bad guys struggle over secrets somewhat more intellectual than just where the secret formula is hidden--they have to gain understanding of what the secret formula actually is.

In this case, the secret formula is a new means of encryption, capable of changing the balance of international power. Part of the fun is that the book takes the reader along into an understanding of encryption technologies. You'll find yourself better understanding the political battles over such real-life technologies as the Clipper Chip and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) software even though the book looks at the issues through the eyes of fiction.

Although there's enough globehopping in this book for James Bond, the real battleground is cyberspace, because that's where the "bomb" (or rather, the new encryption algorithm) will explode. Yes, there are a few flaws in the plot if you look too closely, but the cleverness and the sheer fun of it all more than make up for them. There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and a lot of high, gee-whiz-level information about encryption, code breaking, and the role they play in international politics. Set aside the whole afternoon and evening for it and have finger food on hand for supper--you may want to read this one straight through.

Reviews: Dennis (USA: PA) (2008/04/22):
I enjoyed this book. It's typical Dan Brown - short chapters and fast paced. If you like any of his other books, you'll more than likely enjoy this one. You'll especially take interest in it if you have any knowledge or an interest in computer technology.

mellonhead (USA: TX) (2008/05/05):
This was a pretty weak storyline and weaker characters. I found the pace enjoyable and it was a quick and easy read, but nothing great.

Fred S. (USA: PA) (2009/09/11):
Masterful...with gradual acceleration and intensification of dangers that held my attention from the first page.

Kelly (USA: FL) (2011/01/02):
Just got the book yesterday and could not put it down. What a gripping exciting story!

Rodz (USA: OH) (2012/04/01):
*** THRILLER ***

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