Before the multi-million, runaway bestseller The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown set his razor-sharp research and storytelling skills on the most powerful intelligence organization on earth--the National Security Agency (NSA), an ultra-secret, multibillion-dollar agency many times more powerful than the CIA.
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 and 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 ingeniously complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence.
Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Susan 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.
From the underground hallways of power to the skyscrapers of Tokyo to the towering cathedrals of Spain, a desperate race unfolds. It is a battle for survival--a crucial bid to destroy a creation of inconceivable genius...an impregnable code-writing formula that threatens to obliterate the post-cold war balance of power. Forever.
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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.From the Inside Flap:
Praise for Dan Brown and Digital Fortress:
"A new master of smart thrills."
" Digital Fortress is the best and most realistic techno-thriller to reach the market in years. Dan Brown's ability to paint in living color the gray area between personal freedom vs. national security...is awesome...Readers will feel a chilling thrill a minute."
- The Midwest Book Review
"Dan Brown has to be one of the best, smartest, and most accomplished writers in the country."
- bestselling author Nelson DeMille
"More intelligence secrets than Tom Clancy... Digital Fortress is closer to the truth than any of us dare imagine."
- MacDonnell Ulsch, managing director of the National Security Institute
"Dan Brown writes a rocket-fast thriller with enough twists and surprises to keep even the most seasoned readers guessing."
- bestselling author Vince Flynn
"Exciting...will rivet cyber-minded readers."
"In this fast-paced, plausible tale, Brown blurs the line between good and evil enough to delight patriots and paranoids alike."
- Publishers Weekly
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