Top positive review
The thrill of the rollercoaster is still with us, even as we finish reading.
Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2017
In this, the fourth installment in the Kate Lange legal thrillers, we once again find her in a difficult situation, teetering between pain and pleasure. This emotional response applies to her personal life as well as to her professional activities. It also makes her feel something she had never liked – a rollercoaster, both thrilling and scary. And as we follow the story line, we realize that we, as readers, have also become part of the rollercoaster. We continue reading fast, trying to catch our breath, but in this instance the thrill is never over for us.
The book opens with a prologue, and the action is set in the dead of night. These two words -- "dead" and "night" – are in the mind of Leah Roberts, a character whose actions make the plot unravel, and who is also aware of what she faces – death or darkness. But it is not that clear, and throughout the novel we become aware of the many opposites before us, as well as before the characters. There are “white hats” versus “black hats” – ethical hackers versus unethical ones. Still, everyone wonders, readers included, is there anything ethical about hackers? This question seems to be answered towards the end, but the doubt still remains with us, as it does with Kate and her new partner, Eddie – a brilliant addition and a better developed character in this novel.
All the characters in this thriller are extremely well drawn. We not only accept their reactions and feelings but also share them. The characters seem to be caught in an infinite and endless journey, as in the number eight, the symbol of infinity, looping back to itself. Even though Kate and Randall are the center of the action, especially because of matters of the heart, we get to know all the other characters well, through their actions and through their words, and some of them through their computer screen names.
Pamela Callow’s references to actions and feelings are described in her usual remarkable manner. A character in pain is in "a supernova of agony"; Kate wishes her heart “had a set of sliding doors that would close as smoothly and surely on Randall’s retreating back.”
But we should also note that before the prologue, and even before the dedications, there is a quotation in italics from John Donne's famous poem: “No man is an island.” And, as we read Exploited, we understand what those words mean in this context, as we realize that every single action leads to another one, and so on, until all the actions are not only a continuation of the first one, but are also all connected. The thrill of the rollercoaster is still with us, even as we finish reading.