224 pages

English language

Published Feb. 8, 2023 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom.

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4 stars (4 reviews)

Martin Hench is 67 years old, single, and successful in a career stretching back to the beginnings of Silicon Valley. He lives and roams California in a very comfortable fully-furnished touring bus, The Unsalted Hash, that he bought years ago from a fading rock star. He knows his way around good food and fine drink. He likes intelligent women, and they like him back often enough.

Martin is a―contain your excitement―self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He knows computer hardware and software alike, including the ins and outs of high-end databases and the kinds of spreadsheets that are designed to conceal rather than reveal. He’s as comfortable with social media as people a quarter his age, and he’s a world-level expert on the kind of international money-laundering and shell-company chicanery used by …

5 editions

Enjoyable Silicon Valley thriller

4 stars

I haven't read everything by Doctorow, but have been reading him long enough to see what I think is an interesting progression in his writing. His work in the last few years (from the exceptional "Walkaway", to the superb novella collection "Radicalized"), has seemed increasingly readable and smooth. I think it's probably no coincidence that the stories seem to be getting a little shorter too (mostly, "Walkaway" has a certain heft).

His latest, "Red Team Blues", is a financial tech thriller set in Silicon Valley, in which an itinerant, grizzled forensic accountant, Marty Hench, is drawn into a hunt for crucial McGuffin, one that threatens the foundations of a cryptocurrency network.

Hench as a character is a nice clash of genres. On the one hand, he's a like a gritty noir detective - a loner, connected but never settled (literally, he lives on a tour bus), no time or patience …

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4 stars