Full disclosure, I was provided a copy of this book by the author or their representative, however, have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.
Espionage in the digital age
Project NEEDLENOSE at Northside is under the gun. Having missed a crucial deadline and being threatened with a reduced payment, the contractor has had to borrow staff from sister projects and bring in outside resources to make their next deadline. Tapped for a top-secret assignment not much is known to the engineers involved other than generating a remote method of data mining of an undersea cable. NEEDLENOSE is poised to assist with expediting the extraction of information for a more real-time approach. With a fairly new, hotshot coder added to the project’s ranks, the project is well on the way to making the final deadline and the approval of their client. But shortly after delivery, an anomaly is uncovered with implications that could not only jeopardize Northside’s reputation, but also the shaky relations between two global superpowers. When the subterfuge fully comes to light, will the team be able to stop the damage done before there is irreversible harm?
Project NEEDLENOSE is the debut novel by David W. Zacharias and explores that tit for tat walk on eggshells relationship between the US and Russia. Having spent his earlier years as a software developer in an organization probably very much like Northside, Zaharias provides a glimpse into the “brains” behind the intelligence involved in the day-to-day “spy games” that the rank and file most likely have no clue is happening. The narrative focuses simultaneously on the activities at Northside and various underwater and remote installments in the North Atlantic and Arctic where the NEEDLENOSE project will ultimately land. In using this approach Zacharias has added a depth to his story that enhanced the narrative and provided breaks in the techy aspect of the narrative that was welcome. That is not to say that the additional storylines are fluff, far from it. Zacharias provides the reader with a rare 360 view of the life cycle of a theoretical defense project.
If you like espionage thrillers, with believable and relatable characters, situations, and a plot twist that you know is coming, but still catches you off guard Project NEEDLENOSE would be the perfect title to spend a few days with. I am looking forward to more titles from David W. Zacharias as this debut offering did not disappoint.