The Switch

The Switch

by Joseph Finder

Overview: Michael Tanner picks up the wrong MacBook in an airport security line, a mistake he doesn't notice until he arrives home in Boston. Tanner's curiosity gets the better of him, and he discovers that the owner is a US senator and that the laptop contains top secret files.

When Senator Susan Robbins realizes the mix-up, she calls her chief of staff, Will Abbott, in a panic. Both know that the senator broke the law by uploading classified documents onto her personal computer.

Hoping to avoid Snowden 2.0, Will attempts to gain Tanner's cooperation and recover the laptop. When Will fails, he turns to an unscrupulous "fixer" for help. Meanwhile, the security agency whose files the senator has appropriated has its own, darker methods--and suddenly Tanner finds himself a hunted man, on the run, terrified for the safety of his family, in desperate need of a plan, and able to trust no one.

Deanna Boe (11/09/17): Joseph Finder is obviously known for his “thriller” writings. He is a good writer that appears to come up with unusual storylines. This is his 11th “stand alone” novel, but he does have 3 novels that are the “Nick Heller” series. What intrigues me the most is the non-fiction book that he has written and I would like to read. It is RED CARPET: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE KREMLIN AND AMERICA’S MOST POWERFUL BUSINESSMEN. Since it was written in 1983 I am not sure if it would address what is happening today between Trump and his Russian connection. Or could it be a prophesy of what lay ahead? No matter, I am reviewing today Finder’s latest book THE SWITCH.

The beginning of the storyline could easily happen. Michael Tanner is a businessman who flies a lot. Because of that he can obtain a certain type of pass that allows him to go through a shorter security line. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he does not have this authorization on this ticket and is forced to use the regular security checkpoint. If you have flown you know how long and frustrating those lines can be, and it was exceptionally bad that day. Tanner knew he was close to missing his flight and in his rush grabbed the wrong computer which wasn’t discovered until he got home. Now what? How to figure out whose computer this is? Since most computers have a password to be able to open them it is normally impossible. But in Tanner’s case he discovers a pink sticky note attached to the bottom of the case with a strange code on it. Could it be the password? Obviously to keep the storyline going, it was. Tanner discovers that the computer belongs to a well known female United States Senator. Does he become curious as to what the computer holds? Wouldn’t you?

When the Senator discovers she has the wrong computer she is extremely upset; she had illegally taken classified material on her computer to read while traveling. She could get in major trouble if this was found out! What makes it all the worse she has no way to open this computer to find out whose it is. She turns this problem over to her chief-of-staff, Will, and reminds him how her goal is “higher” i.e. to be the first female president and he would thus be her chief-of-staff at the White House. In short, don’t screw up!

As you can imagine Will has all kinds of problems from the very moment he finally contacts Tanner and doesn’t admit he works for the Senator, giving him a false name. Tanner knows this is incorrect and thus won’t return the computer and now the race is on as to who will keep it. Unfortunately it goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. In short, will Tanner be murdered? Will? How will the Senator resolve all of this before she is found out? Yes, it can make for an incredibly good or preposterous thriller. Your call after you have read the book.
Rating: ****

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