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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Impala is a mystery novel written by Andrew Diamond. Back in San Francisco, Russ, Cred and Charlie were friends and nighttime co-conspirators and at the top of their game. They were hackers by night, digging into code and worming their way into all sorts of corporate networks and other crazy places. Then Charlie, otherwise known as Hatter, went a step too far and trouble came down on them, hard. The FBI must have realized that Russ was not really to blame; he had an obsessive nature that made it impossible for him to ignore clues or fail to solve a mystery, and Charlie, as Cred would say, was one for getting others to do things against their better judgment. Russ, in an effort to put that all behind him, moved from San Francisco to Richmond, Virginia, and found a place in a software development startup. He was living a quiet and orderly life and had a girlfriend who was the antithesis of his past. But something was bound to give, deep inside he realized that ... though he had no idea that it would be a message from Charlie from, it appeared, beyond the grave.
Andrew Diamond's high tech mystery novel, Impala, is fast-paced and suspenseful. Russ is an engaging character who is thrust, once again, into a chaotic web spun by his erstwhile friend, The Mad Hatter. Suddenly, he's being attacked by a Mario-Brothers lookalike with a penchant for violence and a pair of Russian mobsters. They all want the key and are determined to wrest it from him or kill all his friends trying. I enjoyed watching as the hapless Russ wrestles with clues and hints from his past as he tries to stay alive. Impala is filled with action and adventure, and the plot is clever and darkly humorous. I particularly enjoyed reading about the hackers' exploits and following Russ as he puzzles through the mystery of the key. Russ and Cali are grand characters, as is the legendary and reckless Mad Hatter. Impala is highly recommended.