Review: Deadly Odds 5.0 | by: Allen Wyler

I picked up Deadly Odds 5.0, the latest in author Allen Wyler’s series of techno-thrillers, all bearing the same title, appended with the number in the series. The books are able to stand-alone without having read the previous novels in the series, which is a smart theme I’m discovering amongst the small-scale published writers. This was a fun, and well-told, little romp through a west-coast, cyber-security mystery.

This book is set amidst the professional and personal tale of the series’ protagonist, Arnold Gold. He’s a self-employed cyber-security consultant working as a contractor to criminal defense attorneys that are part of his personal network. Gold is in the early phases of building his own firm, having scored some solid jobs – and wins – under his belt. This has allowed him to self-fund a high caliber, white-hat hacking outfit with a pretty impressive supercomputer network that floats between his two houses, the main one in Hawaii and the second one in his hometown of Seattle.

When we meet up with Arnold he’s justifying the growth of his company to his live-in girlfriend in Hawaii. He’s under pressure to prove to her that he can administer and run a maturing cyber-security firm, hiring associates to run his Seattle office.

When he is recruited by his attorney friends to investigate a hacking of twin bio-tech companies, things get complicated quickly. The legal case is rather convincingly setup in Deadly Odds 5.0, as Wyler sets the stage with the antagonist black-hat hacker exacting revenge on the two companies by short-selling their stocks as they are making their IPOs, driving them out of business. The nefarious Mr. Singh covers his tracks by framing another member of the cyber-professional community – the client of the law firm of Gold’s friends – and notching his status as a bona fide top-tier hacker.

From the start of this book, the voice of the narrator is laced with believable references to the technology that drives the storyline. Readers with higher levels of tech backgrounds will be drawn into the fast-paced plot that takes Gold and his growing group of associates and friends through an exciting duel of the hackers. When the the antagonist, Singh, attempts to take-out Gold’s supercomputer by physically planting malware into the Seattle node – the twists get really good. I recommend this to fans of tech thrillers, general modern-day mystery lovers, and legal procedural readers alike.

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