If you're into murder, mayhem, mystery and international intrigue then Sonic Ping by Orlando Stephenson may be the book for you. I started this book at the beginning of the month and only read a few pages before a migraine wiped me out for a few days. I began to reread Sonic Ping from the beginning earlier today and completed it after only a few hours. This was a roller coaster ride from almost the beginning to the end.
Daryl is a millionaire inventor that is bent on saving the world from injustice. His partner in subverting crime is a seriously dangerous computer geek, Rodger. They both get sucked into a world of murder, computer fraud, law enforcement corruption, kidnaping, white slavery and murder when Daryl receives a late night call. Maddie is the widow of their friend Brad, another millionaire computer guy. Maddie calls Daryl, frantic that her niece, Jennifer, has been kidnaped and the kidnappers want money . . . money that Brad had supposedly stolen.
Some of the action in the beginning seems a bit farfetched. Daryl leaves his loving wife at home in bed and then gets the hots for Maddie. Even after his wife has been murdered, he still has a "thing" for Maddie but winds up in a relationship with another woman. He and Rodger are able to successfully free an enslaved woman and guess what? You guessed it. Daryl winds up being attracted to her as well. I'm not saying Daryl's a dog, but if the collar fits!
Mr. Stephenson managed to keep my attention even though I was mildly disgusted by Daryl's libido issues. Rodger is an ex-Navy Seal with some serious computer skills. This and his ability to blush when confronted by his girlfriend, Jennifer, or other slightly flirtatious women was amusing given he has no qualms in breaking people's arms or killing them when required. Daryl and Rodger's investigation, launched by the kidnaping and retrieval of first Jennifer, then Maddie and finally undercover FBI agent Judy Green is convoluted and takes the reader to Morocco, Algeria and all over Massachusetts. Their interactions with characters such as Tiny (why are all huge bodyguards called Tiny?), computer hacker extra ordinaire Poison a.k.a. Fatima, and Prince Hakeem, truly made for some interesting reading. Sonic Ping includes some heavy subject matters such as police corruption, slavery and rape. Some of these are glossed over but discussed nonetheless. I don't feel that it would be possible for the author to do justice to all of these themes without having an extremely lengthy book. For the most part the characters and the action are quite believable. The good guys aren't wholly good but the bad guys are really bad. This was a fast read and is perhaps suitable for a day at the beach or pool.
Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading
"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor
“Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen
"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde
"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller