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Virtual Strangers (Love and murder in cyberspace) [Kindle Edition]

Susanne O'Leary , Ola Zaltin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £0.00 includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

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Book Description

Did you ever want to cast off, to sail into the sunset with someone you just met, a kindred spirit, a twin soul, leaving everything behind? It is possible in the virtual social world of the Internet, which can become a comfort zone you’ll never want to leave. You might, one day, want to meet that person with whom you have become strangely intimate. But reality is never as lovely as the dream. Be careful what you wish for…

A man and a woman - Seabee and Annika - hook up on a wannabe authors' site where they flirt, banter and play around. Just like you and me and everyone else these days. Don’t we all spend part of our day on the Internet? On a forum, a blog, Twitter or Face Book. It’s all innocent fun, isn’t it? But for Annika and Seabee it became a chilly reality. After having joked around openly about killing off their significant others, both their partners actually do die in what seems to be unrelated freak accidents – or are they? The dark realisation begins to dawn on the uneasy duo that their murderous joke fantasy has become all too dangerously real and that the deaths were no random accidents. Someone is watching them.

Seabee and Annika find out in a hurry that cyberspace makes strange bedfellows and, if it's not he or she who did it, then who has done the killings? The two team up to find out who has hijacked their fantasy and turned it into a frightening nightmare.

Join the endearingly mismatched would-be detective duo Annika and Seabee as they investigate the deadly mystery of how the seemingly innocent cybernetic world of two virtual strangers was hi-jacked and transformed by an unknown faceless killer into real-life hell, where “homicide” isn’t just a word highlighted harmlessly on a computer screen.

With more than a passing nod at the classic ‘Strangers on a Train’, Virtual Strangers is a darkly humorous, romantically witty-edged adventure that will take you into the deep, dark and sometimes deadly uncharted wilderness which lurks beyond the fringes of the strange and unpredictable netherworld that we casually call…CYBERSPACE.

Don’t read it if you don’t want to be jolted out of your comfort zone. Keep the lights on, change your password, use a pseudonym and never, ever give out personal information on the Internet…

Contains strong language

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 421 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,986 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could this happen to you? 6 Jun. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This highly entertaining story is about a group of people who meet via an on-line discussion forum much like the forums at Amazon. I might not have found this story plausible had I not seen/read the nefarious antics on the discussions boards I have frequented.

The writing is fluid and tight, the characters interesting. I recommend Virtual Strangers to anyone who likes suspense/murder mysteries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling Country House Capers 25 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a really entertaining read. I'm not sure which genre it slots into but this is certainly not a negative. A whodunnit combined with great humour and romance, constructed around the very real, sometimes chilling world that is on-line networking.
A handful of struggling authors, and a site designed to encourage oneupmanship to dangerous levels, provides a great background to the action. Seabee and Annika, both unhappy in their respective relationships, find themselves not only fighting for that elusive publishing deal, but chasing a murder trail too. There's romance, thrills and mystery, and as the story builds to the denouement, a great country house atmosphere.
I enjoyed the characters, especially Sick Boy the labrador, and some of Seabee's narrative had me in stitches. It's a lively book, the plot held my interest throughout and I related to the on-line author group very much, so my enjoyment was complete.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Internet is the modern smoke and mirrors 26 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Virtual Strangers is a very interesting book from a number of perspectives.

As an author and a user of social networking platforms, I'm familiar with much of the subject matter in this book (except the murder!) I've indulged in `Authorspot' (Authonomy) and all the associated carry-on, compulsive networking, disreputable behaviour, virtual relationships and flame wars.

The alternating narrator style works well throughout this book. It's a team effort and the differing style of the co-authors makes for two very convincing main characters. There's a love-hate relationship between Annika and Seabee that is real.

I felt the impact of each murder or attack (not sure if I was the victim or the perpetrator though). I laughed as the weekend invitees scurried to get onto their computers in a last ditch attempt to curry favour with the ever-elusive publishers (social networking meets Agatha Christie). I urged Seabee to curb his excesses and prayed that Annika wouldn't get in too deep with Archie. The mix of romance, chick lit, murder and thriller provided by O'Leary and Zaltin satisfied my broad tastes. No surprise there, considering their respective backgrounds of widely published author and Wallander TV scriptwriter. It shows how yin and yang make a perfect balance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Virtual Strangers 18 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of Virtual Strangers and the sequel Virtual Suspects; I am absolutely delighted that I took the time to read these consecutively.

Virtual Strangers is thoroughly enjoyable, humorous and delightfully well-written. Both authors have an exceptional way with dialogue, both write in such a similar way that the change of PoV flows beautifully yet remains distinguished and individual. There was nothing about Virtual Strangers that I didn't enjoy and was so glad that I could continue my journey with Seabee and Annika in Virtual Suspects.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Entertaining Read. 3 Mar. 2011
By Shubie
Format:Kindle Edition
Reading hasn't been this much fun since perusing flirtations, feuds and literary forensics on the forums of a certain writers site! This tale of romance, murder and misunderstanding plays out in a landscape I know only too well. Hands up, maybe I did use the word 'sex' in the title of virtually every forum thread, but that was in the heady days of the honeymoon period and I was only taking my lead from the old hands - such as the authors of this wonderful novel.

No forum virgin should attempt to join the world of on-line chatting without reading this book first! And if you've already lost your innocence then you will love this amusing account of virtual relationships clashing with the real world.

It has humour, intrigue, loveable characters and a healthy dose of mayhem and murder.

Loved it! Only wish I'd written it. My respect to the authors. Long live Authonomy!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cyberspace Violated!! 30 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
If you're like me, you've likely spent part of the last 24 hours on one or more internet forums. And if you've always considered this time of your day as sanctuary, don't read Virtual Strangers by Susanne O'Leary and Ola Zaltin. It will forever change your comfort zone.

Yes, the book is a bit of a re-hash of Strangers on a Train. As such there are all the plot turns and twists, and suspense, one might expect from a Hitchcock knockoff. But this book is so much more. Ol' Alfred would be stroking his chin right about now wondering, "How can I turn this into a movie?"

O'Leary and Zaltin expose a digital sub-culture within which many of us dwell. The forum. The blog. The web. Call it what you want. We are all emboldened to be everything that we are in person, but on steroids. Be honest, now. Are you at all disingenuous at the keyboard? Are you better looking? Smarter? Richer? Are you a doctor, when in reality you are a pervert with an 8th-grade education, and barely that?! What are we? Who are we?

O'Leary and Zaltin use what all of us suspect, and make it threatening at a personal level. What's more, they are spectacular at doing so. I couldn't help but wonder if they were watching over my shoulder, or gazing at me from across the lake through binoculars as I read in my underwear at the kitchen table. Their dialog is dead on. The characters, frighteningly real. The plot, plain damn Tom Clancy possible.

Everyone who lives in the virtual world should read this novel. Keep the lights on. Change your password. Don't use your real picture. Protect your loved ones. Use a pseudonym. Be sure your avatar is not a reflection of you that someone might be able to use to identify who you are. And never give out personal information on the internet. Ooops. Too late. They already own you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I liked this story, it was cleverly written and the idea behind it was very good. It was funny but dark at the same time, which is something I like.
Published on 22 Feb. 2013 by MPStarr
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Clever
Very clever. A story within a story. It deserves more than five stars! An up to date Strangers on a Train. This book has everything. Read more
Published on 13 Jun. 2012 by Caza
5.0 out of 5 stars If Agatha were here today ...
It's not often that I give a book 5 stars but this one pushed all the right buttons for me. Maybe because I've been on those sites for would be writers, although I've never had any... Read more
Published on 31 May 2012 by eBook Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining
Downloaded this for my wife and after reading the blurb thought I would give it a go. I thoroughly enjoyed this light hearted thriller, I liked the way the story was told... Read more
Published on 15 April 2012 by Paul James
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling ride through the virtual writing world...
This is one of the best crime thrillers I have read for a while.

The story is original and the authors have captured the addiction and life of a writer on a writing... Read more
Published on 11 Mar. 2012 by Mandy Ward
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting
I am in the middle of this book and must say that I am very impressed!I got it for free and didn't have too much hope, but read reviews and decided to go for it and BINGO! Read more
Published on 22 Dec. 2011 by N
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and entertaining
Two people meet online in an author's forum; a bit like the reviewers forum on Amazon. They develop a friendship that helps them deal with the problems they face with their... Read more
Published on 28 Oct. 2011 by Mole
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Very plausible (we all belong to some sort of online community don't we??). Read more
Published on 11 Sept. 2011 by S Sinclair
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading
This book doesn't take itself too seriously. It's a lighthearted "who dunnit" with a modern twist but some of the old cliches like a country house containing lots of suspects. Read more
Published on 19 Aug. 2011 by HoftheH
5.0 out of 5 stars Are we logged in to authorspot now?
The reviews I'm reading takes me back to the book content, and I find myself thinking what is the motive around the writers of these reviews? Read more
Published on 14 Aug. 2011 by Gemma
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