Granite Elephants

A High-Tech Murder Mystery

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The Novel

“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.

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Also by Tom Rhyne

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.

About the Author

Tom Rhyne has been involved with computer technology since 1957, when he built a computer that won the science fair in his hometown of La Marque, Texas. Since then, he has earned three degrees, including a PhD in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, which he completed in 1967. He then moved back to Texas to teach computer engineering at Texas A&M. He has also worked for NASA, Texas Instruments, and Motorola. He is a registered agent with the U.S. Patent Office and has served as expert witness in over a hundred patent cases involving computer technology and fraud detection.

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