Book Reviews

Book Reviews


The Florentine Deception


By Stephen Northcutt
Version 1.0

The Florentine Deception
By Carey Nachenberg
Forward by Dr. Gene Spafford

Great read. I was unable to follow Dr. Spafford's sage advice. "Don't be in a rush reading it, though: haste is at the root of several of the problems in his book . . . as in the real world." But I wanted to see how things turned out and blew through it. Today on a couple flights from Portland to Nashville I reread it, taking my time with some of the critical sections. First, the same lame comment as every other techie will have, it was great to read a thriller that gets the technology right.

The hero of the story certainly takes a beating from time to time, reminded me a bit of the Rockford Files. I have never been a rock climber, but I found some of the climbing sections er uh gripping. I did do some night ocean water rescue stuff when I was in the Navy and had to smile at the glow stick description. Steam tunnels, boy that took me back. I have to wonder how many techies haven't explored their school's steam tunnels. When you read the book, I suspect you will be reminded of some of the things you used to do.

From time to time I had to wonder if an industry figure or two served as inspiration. I kept in contact from time to time with a guy that had a successful cybersecurity startup and bought a house in Austin Texas not unlike the one Alex buys to discover the safe room.

I think my favorite section of the book was when Alex's grandfather, papa, helps him get a secret code from a mortuary, very creative.

If there is a weakness in the story, it is the interaction with the NSA. Most of us in the security business know at least one employee that puts Department of Defense on their badge when they attend workshops, seminars, or conferences.

I am glad I read the book and then reread it, I will never think about ten AM on Wednesday the same.