My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Publisher - Atlantic Monthly Press
Pages - 432
Blurb from Goodreads
Sam Morpeth has had to grow up way too fast, left to fend for a younger sister with learning difficulties when their mother goes to prison and watching her dreams of university evaporate. But Sam learns what it is to be truly powerless when a stranger begins to blackmail her online, drawing her into a trap she may not escape alive. Meanwhile, reporter Jack Parlabane has finally got his career back on track, working for a flashy online news start-up, but his success has left him indebted to a volatile source on the wrong side of the law. Now that debt is being called in, and it could cost him everything.
Thrown together by a common enemy, Sam and Jack are about to discover they have more in common than they realize—and might be each other’s only hope.
It has been a while since I caught up with Parlabane and I have missed a few books inbetween, my o/h lied and told me a main character died and I stopped reading lol. Jack is up to his usual, trying to stay out of trouble but landing right in the middle of it, or rather being sought out for it. Sam Morpeth is a young woman trying to pick up the pieces her mother has left behind when she went to jail. Looking after her wee sister, trying to keep an education, avoid the drug dealers her mum owes her and local bullies shy Sam has her hands full. Sam has a secret, she is a hacker and forceful online rep lands her in a heap of trouble. With no option but to force Jack to help her, they both must come together to tackle one of the biggest hacks yet, violence and mayhem lies ahead for both.
This book is about hacking, hacking for initially the "right" reasons, not for financial gain and showing that even the best laid intentions can go awry. That consequences have actions and the old adage the world is a really small place, never knowing when your past may come back upon you. Sam I found to be a frustrating character, online a force to be reckoned with, offline in her own words "a victim". She also grated because she is such an intelligent girl who makes some very questionable choices and falls prey to many things she should be able to spot a mile away. Jack is Jack, in trouble, cheeky, likable rogue whose heart is in the right place, I forgot how much I liked him.
Split two fold, we have the whole hacking side of it and the personal life and struggles of Sam which helped break up the computer stuff. Whilst a good chunk of it was really interesting and highlights just how vulnerable we are with our online activities it was nice to have a human emotional aspect of the story. The book doesn't have the earlier grit, dark unpc humour the very first Parlabane books do, maybe because Jack (and Brookmyre) has ages but there are still wee flashes of it. 4/5 for me this time, thanks to Netgalley for sending me a copy to review. Available to buy under the title Want You Gone, not sure why they changed it, I think I preferred The Last Hack.