Because this is the second book in a series, I would say if you have not read the first book (3 Lies), go and do that prior to indulging in this book. I think you will gain much more context and better be able to understand the book; it will be more enjoyable. The author does give the reader some back story details that helps, but I would say the author provides just enough to help which may not be clear enough to people jumping right into this book. Even some of the key components of the story, such as CatSat and what it is/does are not as well described as I would have hoped had I not read the first book. I believe the author assumes the reader will have read the earlier material.
I had previous reviewed “3 Lies” which is the first book in this thriller series by Helen Hanson, and I have to say I enjoyed the second book more than the first. Both were well written and overall exciting, but book 2 was more enjoyable for me. The author provided me with a review copy of the first book prior to me reviewing Masters’ Key so I would have a better idea of the characters and events leading up to this book in the series.
This book in this series was more suspenseful and technically filled than the first. This book seemed bigger because of the multiple locations that story covers compared to the first. It was more a techno-thriller with much more detail showing the difficulty of a society reliant upon always connected devices such as transportation, banking, and communications. The author tells a good story having flow and timing. There were points of build-up, climax, and release which I found more involved from the first book. For people who enjoy pets in their stories, the author continues to have dogs as her animal of choice. Her Amazon bio says she is a lover of dogs, and it shows in this story as with the first. This book also has a pet cat for cat lovers.
I did want to say the author uses vulgar language lightly throughout the book, I say this for those wanting to be aware. There is also mention or use of things such as prostitution, drugs, and alcohol if you have concern or wondering if this is a series is for younger readers; I would say it is for adult or more mature teens.
Although the book contained more technology, and much of it is currently implemented or has the potential of being implemented within a few years, other technology I felt required me to suspend belief to accept. This by no means takes away from the story, but for others deeply involved in either the security industry or technology in general, just remember this is a book and not real-life, so enjoy the ride and adventure which author take you. Use or discussion of such things as the deep web, Bitcoin, TOR, and DDoS attacks are all great items in any techno-thriller I enjoy. I will say that even if you do not understand these technologies, the author does a good job of describing them at a high-level for non-technical readers.
The narration of this book, I listened and am reviewing the Audiobook version, was done by the same person as the first book; Patrick Nolan. Patrick narrated this book similarly to the first book in the series. I had some difficulty with a male narrator being able to easily voice multiple female characters; not an easy task. He used very breathy voices for female characters and it just was difficult for me at times to tell characters apart.
I felt his narration was improved in this book because it seemed he was better able to express the characters and scenes of action. There was a slight volume issue or patch to the audio near the end of the book. This slight glitch seemed to stick out quite a bit as the rest of the book was consistent
Disclaimer: This book was provided to the reviewer by the author, narrator, publisher at no charge in exchange for a non-bias review.