Diana Highsmith hasn't left her house in more than a year. Her boyfriend, Daniel, had died while they were on a climbing vacation in Switzerland a year ago. Outside she had cameras which provided her with live video feeds. When someone was outside her residence, a Klaxon sounded and 'INTRUDER ALERT' would flash on her screen.
Diana, and Daniel's best friend, Jake, ran a successful Internet Security company. Diana meets her clients in a virtual world she created called: 'OtherWorld', and her character online is Nadia Varata. She assesses security breaches, potential and real, and offers her clients a way to protect their businesses and themselves from hackers.
Diana has a sister, Ashley, who had never seen the inside of Diana's office. When Ashley stopped over on Friday to visit, Diana was in a hurry as she had a meeting online in 4 minutes. Ashley was quite upset that Diana had never trusted her enough to see her office and began to cry. Not being able to stand seeing her sister cry, Diana finally relented and allowed her into her office. Ashley was stunned at the amount of technology Diana had set-up.
When Ashley had left Diana's, she inadvertently left her lap top behind and now it was Sunday and she handn't returned to retrieve it. Diana called and left her a message and sent her an e-mail which produced an automated 'out-of-the-office' reply. Monday morning Diana called Ashley's workplace but she wasn't there. Now Diana new in her heart that something was up and decided to call their mother in Florida. She hadn't heard from Ashley either. After opening Ashley's lap top, Diana buzzed off an e-mail to Ashley's contacts but no one had spoken to her since last Friday. Diana checked Ashley's e-mail and she had 181 unread messages so she knew something was terribly wrong as Ashley hadn't checked her e-mail in 3 days which was totally out of character for her as she was 'addicted' to e-mail.
From here the story is as suspenseful as you could ever get. A well-crafted tale that depicts the darkness and suspense well, and where nothing is as it seems. You'll be shocked and surprised and won't be able to put this one down!!
NOTE: Hallie Ephron was also author of "Never Tell A Lie", an excellent novel as well.
April 27, 2011