The Codex file by Miles Etherton

I got this e-book as a free download and found it an entertaining read. It is a thriller set in almost the present day. It's a world where there are recognisable features but the government of the day has gone way beyond its democratic mandate. Imagine if our government said no more Internet - from now on, it's just the state controlled UKCitizensNet. Branding the Internet as an illegal, unregulated zone its state-sponsored substitute controls every aspect of your life; from digital content, provision of your gas, water and electricity and all your money. With everything and everybody connected we're all potential targets if we oppose it.

The protagonist is Michael Robertson whose family has been murdered to protect the covert government project linked to establishing the new internet. Trying to understand what has happened, Michael joins forces with some old style computer hackers vehemently opposed to the new network. His journey towards the truth results in a plot which goes right to the heart of the state.

The gruesome opening quickly draws you into a fast moving plot. It is a page-turner and although at first I found it to lack credibility, by about 20% into the story I was hooked. I don't know if the technical aspects of the story are feasible but they were convincing to me and I was drawn into this new reality. There is a good variety of characters written with sufficient detail to make the main ones strong and the supporting cast do their job adequately.

There are some vivid scenes of murder and torture which are rather graphic at times and made more real because whoever is the victim seems almost objective about what is going on despite the huge amount of pain that must be being endured. The "baddies" are really bad and the good guys are few. I thought the ending was good and slightly surprising although it was cramming a lot into the final pages. I suspect that there will be a sequel before too long.

Overall I enjoyed reading The Codex file and it would make an ideal holiday read. However I think the book would benefit from another read through and proof-reading because the presentation is not as good as it could be which is unfortunate because the story is good and as an entertaining, well-paced thriller it works.

P.S The author contacted me via the Amazon reviews page and explained that an up-dated, amended version had now been published. I am really pleased to hear this because it is a good story and I would recommend it to any reader who enjoys this genre.