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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Remote Access: An International Political Thriller by Barry Finlay is a great thriller with powerful elements of intrigue and espionage, a novel with interesting characters. When the President of the United States decides to impose huge taxes on China, he barely contemplates the hit back. But China has decided not to take things lying down and will do everything to make sure the tariffs never happen, but these plans can cost the life of the US President and breach US security. China hires a computer hacker, the best they could find, to counter the US decision. But is the shady Yang Lee a mere hacker and will his job end at simply stopping the plans of the US President?
There is a fluidity in the language that will mesmerize readers and the balance in prose and dialogue is felt by the reader, plus the descriptions are just terrific. Elements of the setting come out clearly in the narrative. For instance, in describing Shanghai through the stream of Eric Hartman’s thoughts, the narrator notes it’s a place where even social media is censored, so no Facebook and no Twitter, with the government confiscating millions of passports while cutting down on mobile phone companies. This is a realistic image of some of the policies that travelers will notice in China. A very skillful handling of setting, with social and political situations that are as realistic as they are exciting.
I enjoyed the way the conflict evolves through the narrative and Barry Finlay does an incredible job in seamlessly weaving political tension between the US and China into the narrative. The characters are awesome, but I loved the villain of the story, the hacker, more than the others. There is a meticulousness in character development that comes out in an exemplary way in how this character is developed. The narrative is enriched by the author’s masterful use of humor, suspense, and contrast. Great pacing, exciting dialogues, and a monumental conflict are among the elements that make this book a page-turner, the kind you can’t put aside once you've started reading.