Near the end of this book, one of the protagonists blurts, "They're tunelling TCP/IP over AD&D!" And that line is a very good test for potentials readers, because if you understand it (and why it's kind of funny), you might enjoy the book. If you're scratching your head, well, you might still enjoy the book, but you're certainly in for a whole lot more head scratching along the way.
When you strip everything away, this near-future thriller is a cautionary tale about network and database security, and what can happen as our lives become increasingly wired and digitized. The premise is that someone has hacked their way into a MMOG and pulled off an in-game heist, thus triggering the involvement of a police sergeant, an unemployed software engineer, and a forensic accountant. The three characters are called in to investigate this crime and the chapters alternate between their perspectives.
Note that they are not the narrators -- that's because the entire book is written in the second person, a choice which some readers will absolutely hate. I didn't find it as grating as many reviewers did, but it certainly doesn't help the rather weak characterization). Unfortunately, the plot is awfully heavy with techie jargon and those who aren't network engineers or software developers (as the author has been), may find it rocky going. Similarly, the plot revolves around MMOGs and ARGs, and if you're not familiar with this kind of computer and live action gaming, you might get a little lost. In both cases, there are lots of nuances and inside jokes which will fly right over your head (I think I got about half of them). Finally, if the second person voice, techie and gaming jargon don't put you off, there's also a bit of Scots dialect to decipher (I didn't have a problem with it, but other readers seemed to really struggle with it.).
Probably the best thing about the book is the setting (Scotland, circa 2018) and the author's projection of how technology might have evolved over the last decade in ways that affect us all. It's very plausible and convincing -- which makes the story that much more interesting when it all goes pear-shaped. And when it does start to go wrong, the scale shifts from contained crime to all-out infowar, complete with international hacker crews and EU black ops squads. While I could see the point being made by such a shift in scale (a country, even an superpower, totally destabilized via hacking/infowar), it also moved the book into conventional disaster/thriller turf, which I'm not a huge fan of.
I'm a very occasional reader of science fiction, and I prefer my sci-fi to be immersive and contained. The first half of this book does a good job of setting up near-future Scotland and how society might be slightly different, but as it went on and the techspeak got more and more complex, and the stakes went through the roof, I found myself less and less engaged. To be fair, I am neither an online gamer, nor a computer techie, but I have plenty of friends who are, and I think they might find it a little bit more fun of a read than I did.