I don’t normally do a book review on a piece of fiction on this blog, however, I am making an exception this time as there is a definite connection to cybersecurity, privacy and trust.
I picked up this book as I needed a book for my vacation. I had originally picked up The Woman in Cabin 10. It was a really good read, not cybersecurity related, and I blew threw it much quicker than I thought, but I digress.
When I picked up The President is Missing, I have to confess that I wasn’t sure what to expect. My first experience with a book by Clinton was My Life. It wasn’t a positive experience. I couldn’t finish it. I think it is the first book ever that I just could not finish. While Clinton is a very intelligent person, I just can’t imagine that someone can recall that level of detail of their lives, including what one wore on what day when a child. The detail was incredible and made it overwhelming and unbelievable, but again I digress.
I decided to buy the book because of James Patterson. He has an impressive pedigree and a great writing style.
So, the review? What did I think?
Well, I was pleasantly surprised. First because it was about cybersecurity and secondly, if you are a fan of Dan Brown, it has a similar feel, without the very clear formulaic approach. I have read all of Brown’s books and have enjoyed them, the last one, somewhat less. In fact, Origin felt was so predictable and obvious I have absolutely forgotten what the book was even about. I had to look up the name to reference it here.
The President is Missing has a good storyline and I am hoping that people who read it might have an increased awareness of what can happen to an entire country’s critical infrastructure – water supply, water quality, ecommerce, banking systems, electricity grid and military response and capabilities should a cyberattack happen. The authors do a really good job of describing just what could happen so that the lay person would get it. At the same time, I am hoping that people knowing that this is a piece of fiction won’t think that the impact or ramifications of a cyberattack are also fiction, because it is not.
The details about the workings of the White House, the US government and the Secret Service, etc. were well done. Of course, Clinton and others thanked in the book brought that reality to the book.
I also liked that there were some twists and turns and with most whodunits I tend to get a good idea of the main protagonist very early on because I like them, read them and watch them in movies a lot. In The President is Missing, I did began to wonder, but it did take a little longer, which is a good thing.
So, in the end, I do recommend this book as an entertaining and interesting read. And my hope is that people will get some insight on the ramifications of a cyberattack on our critical infrastructure and give people more of the desire to support our elected officials in making decisions supporting the protection of our critical infrastructure against attacks.
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