Cover image for
Pineiro, R. J.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, 2001.
Physical Description:
317 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Hunted by the top companies in America, Michael Patrick Ryan was offered the world: high starting salaries, stock options, and signing bonuses. Ryan set his sites on SoftCorp, Inc., a company with only one client-the Internal Revenue Service.

But Mike Ryan has also fallen into the sights of the FBI. Millions of dollars have been smuggled out of the country, and Karen Frost suspects it's someone in the IRS. The deal: federal protection and immunity for information. But Frost has already lost one informant. Someone who got too close to the truth. As Ryan closes in, he realizes that he is a puppet in a ring masterminded by one man. One man whose agenda is designed to bring America to its knees.

Author Notes

R. J. Pineiro, R. J. Pineiro was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in El Salvador. He came to the United States to pursue higher education. He earned his degree in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University. He also holds a second degree black belt in the martial arts and is a licensed pilot and firearm enthusiast.

Pineiro has worked in the computer industry for 17 years, working on leading edge microprocessors. He has written several techno-thrillers including, "Ultimatum," "Breakthrough," and "Y2K."

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Pineiro's latest high-tech thriller should please his fans. The FBI has stumbled upon hints that the IRS may be laundering vast sums of money; to collect the evidence it needs, the Bureau recruits a young software expert working for a company whose only client is the IRS. The deal: get us the proof we need and we won't prosecute you as a coconspirator. Like Pineiro's previous novels, this one is very detailed, very technical (Pineiro is a computer engineer by trade), and very intricate. Also like his earlier work, the execution is a little clumsy. More-lifelike characters and less-stilted dialogue would help. But high-tech thrillers are usually driven by their stories, not their characters, so readers looking mainly for action, equipment, and suspense shouldn't be unduly distracted by the novel's artistic shortcomings. The story here is smart, and the technology suitably complex (and, apparently, realistic). Readers who have enjoyed Pineiro's earlier efforts are likely to be entirely pleased with this one. --David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

A young high-tech exec and his banker wife join forces with a fortyish female FBI agent to take on a ruthless killer with powerful friends and a few high-tech tricks of his own in this cyberspeed thriller. After Mike Ryan completes his doctorate in virtual reality systems, Nasdaq biggies toss money, but an unknown Texas high-tech firm, SoftCorp (one of several nifty bits of wordplay that keep the lingo light), makes the best offer, not only assuring Mike's financial future but also coming up with a job for his wife, Victoria, with Capitol Bank, the firm handling SoftCorp's finances. The lure of money, house, car and unlimited research funding for Mike's work with SoftCorp's only client, the IRS, hook the pair, and they move from California to Austin. Meanwhile, FBI special agent Karen Frost, checking a tip on IRS agents gone bad, finds the mutilated remains of a missing field agent and links his fate to SoftCorp. But when the FBI director is murdered, Frost is left out in the cold, especially when the new man in charge swallows framed evidence that she has turned rogue. Frost uses the Web to contact Mike and Victoria just as they discover their dream home is bugged, and they agree to work with her. But then Victoria is kidnapped, and Frost is actively pursued by her former employers. Pineiro (Shutdown) writes with humor and flair and turns the high-tech field into an accessible playground for the uninitiated. The thrill of hacking and evading capture equates with the rush of dodging bullets as Pineiro manages a major translation of techie dreamworld into mainstream adrenaline rush. (Apr.) Forecast: Already an established name in techno-thrillers, computer engineer Pineiro is due an upgrade in reputation and perhaps sales with this entertaining story. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-A techno-thriller in which virtual-reality scenarios woven smoothly into the plot inject sufficient energy and intrigue to compensate for shortcomings in character development and dialogue. The investigation of a money-laundering scheme involving the IRS, a giant software development company (SoftCorp), Capitol Bank, and a wealthy entrepreneur with ties to Castro's Cuba takes on lethal overtones as FBI Special Agent Karen Frost's probing reveals evidence of far-reaching complicity. With her primary field agent slain and her options narrowed by efforts to discredit her in DC, she embarks on a desperate scheme to recruit the young and talented, newly hired SoftCorp computer engineer and his wife to assist her in gathering information from inside the corporation. Michael and Victoria Ryan's willingness to cooperate is grounded in their unease at SoftCorp's ruthless invasion of their private lives and their growing sense of horror as they find themselves entangled in the company's illegal activities and murderous pursuits. In a tense stand-off, when Victoria is kidnapped and only Mike can craft a strategy that will win her release, he marshals all of his hacker's skills and programming virtuosity to gain leverage against the financial and governmental forces arrayed against them. The unleashing of hired assassins catapults readers into a crisply drawn finale, with a touch of larceny in the denouement.-Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.