He’s got the whole town in his hands.

The technical glitches in Hollister, California, began inconspicuously enough—errors in department store billing and production problems at local factories. But the episodes become more malicious when falsified criminal records are strategically released to employers and press, fake medical reports are sent to spouses, and the city’s traffic lights are hacked and thrown into deadly chaos. The only link between these seemingly random occurrences is the Regional Data Center.

Former FBI agent Michael Egan, the RDC’s new security director, knows something more than coincidence is involved in these events. The RDC computers certainly aren’t foolproof, but the incidents of the last week have grown in such frequency and intensity, it can only mean one thing. It’s not a computer malfunction. The system has an intruder. 

Someone is in the RDC network, someone who does not belong there. The intruder is cruel, drunk with power, and his games with the RDC have already resulted in a man’s death. If Egan and his colleagues can’t stop him, many more will die. Hollister is under attack, and the only chance for survival may lie within the very machines where the crisis began.


“America, beware. No computer system is so tight that it cannot be breached, and when it is breached with malicious intent, catastrophe can follow. To leaven the grim message, Mr. Charbonneau serves up a pleasant romance, and his characterizations and writing are thoroughly believable.”

New York Times Book Review

“The author knows his computers, and he deftly enlightens us on their foibles as he keeps his smooth suspense story building to a nail-biting climax.”

Publishers Weekly

“Superior fare with lots of information about computers and a dash of romance. Recommended.”

Library Journal

“Entirely feasible and quite frightening […] Well written and suspenseful, and keeps you guessing until the very end.”

Asbury Park Press

Awards & Accolades