After two CyberStorm Entertainment employees die suspiciously, Detective Peter Sebeck discovers their deaths were caused by elaborate death traps set by revered game designer and CyberStorm CEO Matthew Sobol. Officers storming Sobol’s mansion find themselves in a standoff against more tech-powered traps, but the greater challenge is that the deceased Sobol is doing all this from beyond the grave.
A daemon, a hidden computer program, is part of Sobol’s postmortem plot not to hack computers, but to hack society. Recruiting disaffected individuals and channeling billions of dollars, Sobol’s Daemon organizes a global cabal capable of bringing down corporations and threatening governments.
Lending equal weight to online and offline action, Suarez has some scenes set in CyberStorm’s computer games, which the Daemon is using for recruitment. Beating a mod for the WWII-themed, Over the Rhine, wins the approval of the game’s baddie SS Obesrtleutnant Heinrich Boerner. Later The Gate (CyberStorm’s fantasy MMO) is the setting for a stakeout.
More than a techno-thriller, Daniel Suarez has created a plausible scenario about what a determined individual can accomplish in a wired world.