A High-Tech Murder Mystery
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“That’s what always worries me about you two. Killings bring a lot of heat.”
Granite Elephants, Tom Rhyne’s latest novel, is an entertaining thriller with a likeable and relatable protagonist, Jury Garrett, a near-50 ex-cop who spends some of his time as a private investigator, but only on cases he likes. Set in Austin, Texas, and Belgium, the story starts with a phone call from a young and beautiful wife, Janelle Kinlaw, whose husband, Walter, an equally young high-tech entrepreneur, has disappeared during a trip to Europe.
Jury’s work on her case soon leads him into conflicts with the U.S. Army, who had funded Walter’s start-up company in Austin, with some criminal types who wanted to collect on a sub rosa loan their New York lending agency had made to him, with the Austin Police Department, and with a highly placed banking official in Brussels. As Jury follows a complex series of rabbit trails to find out “Where’s Walter,” he uses a number of former associates whose specialized knowledge helps him learn why the entrepreneur had gone missing, knowledge that includes applications of artificial intelligence to international currency trading.
Anyone who has spent time in Austin will find this well-crafted, down-to-earth page-turner of very special interest.
Available Everywhere Books Are Sold October 19, 2021
Canaries is a high-tech adventure involving international events that take place both in the U.S. (Boston, Austin, and Las Vegas) and North Korea. The key to all of those events is the development of an advanced computer chip (dubbed the “CANARIE”) by two young technologists who are retained by an MIT professor to create it for use in a military robot he is developing for the U.S. Department of Defense.
To have the chip manufactured they select a semiconductor fabrication facility in South Korea, but a mole in that plant sends their design to North Korea for possible use by the NK military. As they are testing the CANARIEs, they discover that the chip can be used to track the processing in a nearby computer. When things with the professor go south, they find other uses for their chips, including helping a group of retirees save their home in Las Vegas, all the while dodging North Korean agents who are seeking to steal the hardware and software that makes the CANARIEs do their magic.
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