*I received a free code for this audiobook, with thanks to the authors. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Inexplicable drops in world commodities markets are destabilizing nations to the point of economic collapse. A conspicuous increase in production numbers for primary oil producing companies results in a call for help from governments and a large oil distributor, ePetro.
The R-Group, Jacob and Petra, are quietly engaged by ePetro amid fears that further drops in commodity values could devastate multiple economies of first world countries.
Could the problem be a result of hacking by an unidentified dark matter organization?
The unidentified cyber terror organization is fierce and lethal when it comes to protecting itself and its plans made to take control of global commodity markets. The lieutenants of this agenda are quick to execute orders without question. Failure does not get a second chance with these enforcers.
Has this insidious cyber evil from the dark net become a challenge the R-Group simply cannot defeat?
The layers of conspiracy by the cruel dark matter organization supplies suspense and intrigue to the very end.
The Enigma Broker, the 8th book in The Enigma Series by the award-winning authors Breakfield and Burkey takes readers on a dangerous trek from the affluence of London to the extreme poverty of Argentina, the train yards of Fort Worth Texas, and places in between.
This is Book 8 in the Enigma series and whilst there is some benefit in knowing the background of the main characters, this one really does stand alone okay, with the authors filling in just enough detail to flesh out the characters without slowing the action.
These books are technothrillers focused on the realm of cyber crime, and the plot here revolves around the all-too-plausible scenario of someone tinkering with commodities figures leading to a potentially devastating effect on world economies. Unless, of course, the cyber heroes of the R-Group are able to work their technological magic, with the help of their advanced A.I. supercomputer, ICABOD – one of my favourite recurring characters!
It is clear from the prologue flashback that the motive in this case is one of revenge, but the who , what and why of said motive is the mystery that the R-Group experts must solve, and the stakes are higher than usual as it appears their own team members may be in danger. And that’s before I even mention Juan’s dangerous detour which sees him in trouble from the outset, thanks to an attempt to track down his elusive uncle!
Breakfield and Burkey are clearly experts in this field, and it shows, as they weave an intricate web of economic and technical systems details around their crime thriller, and there were times that I – as an interested layperson – struggled to follow the exact details, but I was able to follow the main thrust of the plot and character developments with ease.
Derek Shoales does a great job of bringing the characters into individual life, each with their own distinct voice, helping to keep the story clear for listeners, and his narration is perfectly paced for the moments of tension and the more humorous or romantic interludes. I did find the dialogue a little bit stilted and unnatural in places in the written text, but felt that Shoales’ narration smoothed that aspect out in the audiobook.
Overall I feel that this series is a little beyond my technical grasp, and that I miss out on some of the finer details as a result, but would definitely recommend it for fans of techno-crime espionage and thriller stories – the authors clearly know their stuff and provide an exciting ride on the dark side of the data highway.
The fundamental mission of the R-Group began with fighting the Nazis in WWII. In the decades since that war, the team had learned that there was always someone or something that would step up into the role of the next adversary. Quip liked to sat they had taken the Robin Hood operating parameters and added digital content to keep the wealth intact for those who actually earned it. R-Group assignments supported individuals’ and even governments’ fights against human injustice as well as helped maintain a level of balance between powers.
The services provided over the years to its discreet customers had allowed the wealth of the R-Group to grow. As such, no one in the group needed to work, but their ethics and conscience compelled them to stay at it and remain vigilant against the world’s cyber enemies. Sometimes they walked a very fine line in fighting the evils they encountered, yet remained ethical to a fault. Over the years the team had increased their financial prowess, exhibited insightfulness of people overall, and thus were adept at staying further ahead of the technology curve than any entity, including well-funded governments.
– Breakfield & Burkey, The Enigma Broker
Find more from the writing duo of Breakfield and Burkey at the Enigma series website here, or follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads (here and here), and check here for my review of The Enigma Gamers.