Book Report: The Hanged Man’s Song by John Sandford (2003)

My beautiful wife gave me this book for my birthday, and as such, it adds nothing to my annual total of book expenditures. Woo hoo! Additionally, it’s one of John Sandford’s Kidd novels. I’ve read only one more (The Devil’s Code), but they’re pretty good hacker thrillers.

This one details how Kidd and LuEllen deal with the death of a fellow haker and the disappearance of the hacker’s laptop. The laptop contains enough secrets to blackmail half of Washington and maybe all of the hacker community. Kidd and krew have to avoid the Feds and the murderous thief to retrieve the laptop and get what justice they can for their friend.

So why do I like the books? They’re quickly-paced and are less dated than more realistic hacker novels whose close mapping to current technologies actually apply a date and timestamp expiration date to them. Kidd’s hacktions are described plausibly, but broadly, so we can fill in the blanks with whatever current technologies might solve his problem. I wrote an essay about this once, and I like to see it in practice. They’re paced well, too, allowing you to move through the action and the chapters quickly–and when you’ve got hundreds of books to read, you need every advantage.

Books mentioned in this review: