“Unauthorized Access”, a realistic thriller of our times
Personally I like my crime novels realistic. In many genres the author can get away sometimes with wild imagination, like a ring to bind them all and so forth, but the crime writer needs two feet on the ground. The numbers need to be right. The coincidences kept to a minimum. The timing needs to be perfect. Andrew McAllister certainly delivers when it comes to realism. While reading his novel “Unauthorized Access” a large bank in my country suffered the consequences of a cyber attack, and quite a chaos ensued for the public. This is one of the reasons “Unauthorized Access” is a good read: the issue of banks being under attack is a clear and present danger and concerns us all. Of course that’s only a start: McAllister takes it from there with skill and insightfulness. Protagonist Rob is believable to me because he has this familiar incapacity to manipulate people. His colleagues believe he’s guilty and instead of begging them for help — which would be a clever thing to do — he just gets irritated and leaves. Just an ordinary guy.
McAllister also charmed me with the way he adds little bits of ambiance to sketch the characters; for example a recognizable popsong or a movie reference; I can sympathize with a guy who likes Supertramp and mumbles Arnold Schearzenegger oneliners. The plot works fine for me: the threat of a cyber attack on a bank is real, as I mentioned, so I followed the proceedings eagerly, wondering how it would unfold. And it does so in a true action thriller way, I feel. There’s romance, jealousy and violence building up towards the end, quite a unique blend. And an explosive one too. In the final chapters I was taken by surprise — a realistic reversal of fortunes that occurs when people interact. “Unauthorized Access” delivers in a classic way: the last part where the Gordian knot gets untied is fast and suspenseful. I advise you to keep a close eye on both your bank account and your spouse while you’re reading “Unauthorized Access”. Because you may be so hooked that you won’t notice someone else take possession of them.