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Digital Fortress

Posted - Jan. 23, 2004 at 10:31 a.m.



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Digital Fortress

By Dan Brown

All four of Dan Brown’s books are currently on the New York Times’ bestseller lists. How would it be? The Da Vinci Code remains atop the hardback bestsellers, and Angels & Demons, Deception Point and Digital Fortress are all on the paperback bestseller list. I just finished Digital Fortress, the third one of Brown's I’ve read, and while it was enjoyable, it was my least favorite.

Digital Fortress does open strong. I’m noticing now that Brown opens all his novels with a murder. What a hook? It’s a compelling way to pull the reader in so we immediately want to know who that was and why they were killed. Digital Fortress is an Internet user’s spy novel. Brown truly is amazing in his detailed knowledge of encryption codes and computer viruses. After reading three of his novels, I am starting to wonder if there is anything he doesn’t know.

The premise of Digital Fortress is an interesting one – what if someone created an encryption program that even the most effective code-breaking computer in the world couldn’t break? What would that mean for national security? The characters Brown puts into this premise are interesting, especially the professor who inadvertently becomes a secret agent - David Becker. I liked him.

But Digital Fortress suffers from a little predictability. I never guess the ending of a book or movie, and I saw this one coming. It also suffers from a little obvious sappiness in the end which felt completely out of place. Dan Brown should not try to be David Baldacci.

With that caveat, it’s still better than many. Dan Brown’s earlier thriller, Digital Fortress, is on the paperback bestseller list. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio 1160, I’m Amanda Dickson.

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