Monday, January 17, 2011

Dev Manny, Information Technology Private Investigator (serial fiction)

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle


AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Dev Manny, Information Technology Private Investigator, by Andy Kaiser


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Information Technology Private Investigator. The full title doesn’t fit well on a business card, and no one’s heard of the acronym. Even walking someone through the pronunciation tends to glaze them over.

But that’s me. That’s what I do. I investigate mysteries and problems, all of which revolve around information technology. Networks and computers, data and systems, gadgets and gizmos, tools and toys.

I’m not the best information technology private investigator. There are others better than me, others more experienced, others with better stories to tell.

But I haven’t met them yet.

MY REVIEW: If you like mystery fiction, and if you're a computer-junkie, chances are you'll enjoy Dev Manny. Each post is a complete short story, and there's one a month or so. The story is told in first-person by Dev Manny, "Information Technology Private Investigator" and the stories are pretty relevant today!

Check out this blog!

A few sample paragraphs from Chapter 5
Red tail lights swarmed in front of me. They’d be far away, if I’d been walking. But I wasn’t. My car was chattering down the expressway 25 times faster than my usual saunter. The traffic jam up ahead guaranteed I’d come to a fast and painful stop.

Just to make sure, I slammed on the brake again and my stomach lurched to a stop while my car did not.

I’d seen the evidence but my brain didn’t want to believe. So it told my foot to try one more time. And once more, just in case reality would permit me to cheat. Unsurprisingly, I continued hurtling ahead, foot pumping mechanically while my hands clenched white on the steering wheel.

It’s an emergency, I thought. Better use the emergency brake.

Then I realized… I was right. The emergency brake wasn’t connected to my now-flaccid hydraulic brake system. The emergency brake was cable-connected to the rear brakes. If I was lucky I might live through this, assuming the ancient cable was still good. And that it hadn’t been cut.

I grabbed the brake handle with one hand and heaved up as hard as I could. I heard the click-click-click-click-click of the ratchet as the cable tightened and strained against the brake drums. Friction engaged. Physics, as it had done ever since the Big Bang, continued to work.

I slowed, but not enough. I was still flying plenty fast enough to get a speeding ticket from any police officer with bifocals or better. The emergency brake was designed to keep the car from rolling while parked. It wasn’t meant to be used while flying at highway speed.

Desperate, I let go of the steering wheel with my other hand and ignored the sudden, violent back-and-forth shimmy. I twisted sideways in the seat and used both hands to heave up on the emergency brake. I managed to get two more clicks from the ratchet.

The traffic jam was just a few dozen feet ahead of me. I was seconds away from hitting cars that were exponentially more expensive than mine. Their insurance was probably paid up, too.

Thanks to my rarely-adjusted wheel alignment, my car had drifted left after I’d stopped steering. I grabbed the wheel and wrenched it even further left.

I heard a squeal followed by a gravelly crunching as my car whipped to the side and passed the traffic jam on the median.

-Superliminal chapter 1: The captured keys
-Superliminal chapter 2: Constructed destruction
-Superliminal chapter 3: Showing the case fantastic
-Superliminal chapter 4: The plot slickens
-Superliminal chapter 5: Line noise

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