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Phillip Finch

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Orion

Published : 1995

Copyright : Phillip Finch 1995

ISBN-10 : HB 1-85797-697-5
ISBN-13 : HB 978-1-85797-697-7

Publisher's Write-Up


Your life is in jeopardy. As you read this, you are within reach of a murderer. You tell yourself: this cannot mean me. For you believe that you are unknown and unnoticed. You feel the buffer of distance between yourself and this message. You are comforted by your privacy.

There is no buffer. The fact that this text has reached you is proof that wherever you are, I may be. Let me be blunt. In a short time, someone within reach of this message will expire, grotesquely and horribly, at my hands.

(Maybe you!)

Verbum is a computer network that allows users to communicate intimately without ever meeting or knowing each other's real identities, using on-screen nicknames to preserve their anonymity.

But, now a new kind of predator is stalking the network, looking for more than an exchange of electronic intimacies. SNOWFLAKE is a psychopathic computer genius who has found a way of accessing the personal details of other Verbum users. And with that knowledge he is able to bring them face to face with their most secret fears.

When SNOWFLAKE locks onto Kate Lavin, however, he is unknowingly going one to one with an opponent worthy of his own dark brilliance. Kate's ex-husband Ellis Hoile is an obsessive, otherworldly computer whizz-kid and the only man capable of tracking SNOWFLAKE through the twisting labyrinths of cyberspace.

And when Ellis realises the terrible danger Kate is in, a dazzling battle of wits begins that will end in a shocking climax.

F2F is a chillingly credible thriller set at the leading edge of computer technology, where tomorrow's dreams could be today's nightmare.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310701) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
F2F is the story that I compared to Jeffery Deaver's The Blue Nowhere, based around a killer who stalks his prey using the Internet.

F2F was published way back in 1995 and Nigel thinks that it has dated rather badly but I disagree, to someone who is not really up on the correct terms for Internet contact, there is no difference between the chatrooms of F2F and those in use today.

I know that the forum is described as a social experiment, but it could be true today, (I may have just revealed my technophobe tendencies, if so, I apologise...)

It all starts with a notice being posted on a forum that a killer intends to take a victim soon. A group of people respond to the notice, telling the wierdo to go somewhere else as they don't want to associate with him.

The killer then researches and targets all those who responded to his initial contact. Because we do not know the true identities of those people who responded, and they were all unknown to each other, there is no link between them for the investigating officers, because the killer changes his modus operandi for each killing. With gruesome effectiveness.

The man who unknowingly sets himself against the killer does so as an intellectual challenge - the killer tries to hack his computer, and so he sets out to try to do the same to the killer, but he sees something which he should not have seen, part of the killers video diary of the murders. He does not realise this at the time, but he is also a target.

This is an excellent story, tense, with an interesting killer and a nice man as an adversary, you want the horrible man to be stopped and the nice man reunited with his estranged wife. It is curious at the end that I have not heard of anything more by the Author, had great potential. Shame, really...
Chrissi (31st July 2001)

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