Red Team Blues

Tor. Apr. 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781250865847. $27.99. SF
Cyber detective, forensic accountant—whatever his title, 67-year-old Marty Hench is one of those rare people who tries to prevent financial crimes. He’s spent his whole career as a member of the Red Team, as an attacker, one who always has the advantage. Now ready for retirement, he’s living it up in California and trying to decide what he wants to do when he grows up when he’s hired by an old friend. Danny Lazer, the founder of the new crypto titan Trustlesscoin, needs Marty to recover stolen cryptographic keys and prevent the type of financial crisis that people lose their lives over. Marty delves into the shady underside of the private equity world, where he’s caught between warring international crime syndicates. The sincere and intelligent writing has a noir feel to it, enhanced by Marty’s dry humor. There’s a sense of satisfaction as this unassuming retired man dishes out comeuppance.
VERDICT This absorbing and ruthless cyberpunk thriller from Doctorow (Attack Surface) tackles modern concerns involving cryptocurrency, security, and the daunting omnipotence of technology. Great for fans of Charles Stross.
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