The Grid

An International Thriller

Fiction - Thriller - Terrorist
190 Pages
Reviewed on 01/14/2014
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Author Biography

Carlton Winnfield is a pseudonym. The author is a retired United States military officer with extensive international politico-military experience. He has worked and lived in North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Afghanistan, the Far East and the United States. He has chosen to write this novel under a pseudonym as he felt it in keeping with the shadowy nature of The Grid. The author intends this novel to be the first in a series about The Grid and its defense of the common good. He lives in Europe.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Barbara Garcia for Readers' Favorite

The Grid by Carlton Winnfield is an extraordinary tale of international intrigue and subversion, narrated by an unnamed agent of The Grid. With highly advanced nanotechnology, a super computer to guide him, and a multitude of satellites to be his eye in the sky at all times, we follow him on a mission to uncover and then stop the plans of Khan, a radical Jihadist leader from Pakistan. As he uncovers the plans, piece by piece, a horrific picture unfolds of an alliance with Gomez Soares, a Mexican drug cartel leader, and the smuggling of an atomic bomb to Mexico City. Soares and Khan are both certain that detonating this bomb will effectively upset the balance of power in the countries they both wish to take over. But The Grid has other plans.

The Grid by Carlton Winnfield is exciting and riveting. The narrator is never named so I felt as if I were following a shadowy figure through the whole story. Rather appropriate considering that's exactly how he was supposed to be. He leads you on an international romp through three continents to complete his mission, and author Carlton Winnfield did a superb job bringing every location to life in vivid detail. His character building is equally impressive. From the beautiful Controller of The Grid to the other exotic beauties and evil men we encounter, they are perfectly visualized through his writing. I highly recommend this book for better-than-Bond thrills and intrigue.


An engaging story made all the more intriguing by Winnfield's treatment of characters. Highly recommended for fans of a thriller.


Carlton Winnfield’s recently released first novel, “The Grid,” is a techno-thriller that takes the reader on a wild ride across three continents in pursuit of a villainous alliance between the leader of a Latin American drug cartel and a jihadist warlord, bent on establishment of a global caliphate. With a beautiful and exotic damsel in distress as well as a Pakistani nuclear weapon thrown into the mix, Winnfield has created an exciting tale that borrows from genres occupied by Ian Fleming, Phillip K. Dick (“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”) and Arthur C. Clarke (“2001: A Space Odyssey”).

The nameless narrator of Winnfield’s novel is an operative of the Grid. His assignment by “Grid control” takes him on a global race to stop a nuclear holocaust, primarily assisted by “an Ops Machine,” a quantum super computer designed to provide “purely objective counsel.” The Grid also provides the narrator with a variety of high tech devices that would have made James Bond’s Q burn with envy.

The novel, conceived and written prior to Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, and news of extensive NSA eavesdropping as well as assassination by satellite-controlled drones, takes the reader a step further. Winnfield's “Grid” is a non-governmental organization founded by philanthropic individuals of great wealth who have assembled teams of brilliant scientists, controllers and highly trained operatives with the simple mission of “advancing the common good.” With access to quantum super computers, a network of operational grade satellites, and ingenious devices employing advanced nanotechnology, the Grid and its operatives are able to intercept, decipher, analyze and act upon virtually any bit of digital communication or information on earth. The founders do not intend to share the Grid’s capability with any government due to fear, based on events of the 20th and early 21st centuries, that any government would misuse the grid’s capabilities. No one outside of the Grid’s membership has any idea of its existence.

The evolving relationship between the operator and his intelligent machine partner is an intriguing thread. The operator initially viewed the machine as just another tool, but as their partnership continued, begins to consider it a friend. Conversely, the machine’s communications with the operator are gradually tinged with hints of humor and irony, becoming less and less robotic as the machine “learns” to “know” the operator. In a “New Republic” article (unrelated to "The Grid") that discusses the possibility of "intelligent" machines becoming self-aware, Matthew Parris writes that “there is only one way to know when a machine becomes conscious…. when it starts to play.” The growing playfulness of the Ops machines suggests a number of possible future story lines.

Winfield's novel, the first in a series, demonstrates the author's ability to both entertain and provoke thought. The “ability of absolute power to corrupt absolutely” sets up an interesting tension for the Grid’s founders. They struggle with the possibility that “they too are susceptible to corruption…. even as a good-minded group that is convinced of the rightness of its cause and the rightness of its actions in the shadows.” The founders rely in large part on the objective counsel of the artificial minds of the Ops Machines to avoid this trap. One wonders how Winnfield will resolve this tension, as his intelligent machine minds become more human and less “purely objective.”

RJ Pope

A captivating read with plenty of international intrigue, and a touch of futuristic technology. The author did a great job of blending the action. With the oerational detail on almost believes that you are in the scene, a witness to what is going on. I would highly recommend this ebook to anyone interested a Jack Ryan-like hero,who make allthe right move with the hel of "The Grid."


If Amazon can deliver packages by drone, how farfetched are the powers of the Grid? Not so much, I submit. Imagine an omnipresent force that inhibits the worst of man's tendencies toward self-destruction while putting the science back into science fiction. The settings are at once exotic and of our times, constantly reminding the reader that the narrator knows of what and where he speaks. Readers who chafe at the limits governments place upon themselves in the hunt for evil doers will cheer the Grid's results, and forgive a few of its excesses along the way!


Great Book! A look into the future of spy tech and a new agency to help with world policing. Has it all.


A real page-turner. Very different from other thrillers I've read. Really liked the technology. Can't wait for the sequel!

Carlton Winnfield

I am grateful to Barbara Garcia and Readers' Favorite for their 5-Star review of The Grid. Their review and mini-critique were very helpful. They provided concrete feedback and priceless encouragement. I would recommend to all aspiring authors to seek a review from Readers’ Favorite.

The Grid is the first in a series of novels about a shadowy, hidden, non-governmental organization that sees the need to protect the common good (the well-being and general welfare of us all) from grave injustices that occur in the world, and does something about it.

The premise of The Grid is this:

Recently, a group of immensely wealthy and like-minded individuals developed futuristic technologies that, among other things, enable it to know - not guess or speculate or conjecture - but know of deliberate wrongdoings that harm the common good. How might – indeed, should - such a group use these technologies to confront the authors of those wrongful acts? These technologies are far beyond those disclosed in recent real-world revelations of government surveillance and eavesdropping; so far beyond, that the Founders of The Grid are determined that they must not fall into the hands of any government for fear that they would be gravely misused. Still, what should the Founders do? Discard and destroy them for fear of the same misuse, or use them, secretly, in the shadows, to help us - the common good.

The Founders decided to do the latter. They believe – perhaps hope is a better word - that they can avoid the trap of moral corruption, that such power lays before anyone, by employing the very same technology that put it there. The Grid recognizes this conundrum.

The novels of The Grid relate some of the actions that it has carried out to protect the common good. They are told from the perspective of a Grid Operator, one of a small number of its superbly skilled human agents. The Operator thrives on the knife’s edge and beyond, in places where only The Grid can take him. Armed with his skills and his intellect, and supported by The Grid’s startling technologies, he is the sharp end of the stick, let off the leash when The Grid expects to encounter dark, ominous forces that exist in the world.

Carlton Winnfield


An excellently written Thriller:

Six stars if I could rate it that high! Excellent reading throughout, from intro to end. Can't wait for next thriller to hit the pages from Winnfield. Thorough knowledge of technology, with savvy into the future of computer Intel. Kodos to author.

Jessica Platt

Great Book!

This was an amazing book, I read it in 2 days, I couldn't put it down. It's not like Patterson or Baldacci but it has the same addition, great story lines that you want to read and read and read. I hope there is a sequel and soon! I would recommend this book to anyone who is into thrillers with an added technological twist. But the technology seems real enough that our government or a group of rich philanthropists could really develop. Happy reading, I will continue to wait for the next edition! If I could give it ten stars, I would!