Overall I liked the book and finished it quick time, but I thought there were some weaknesses that led me to give it only three stars.
This story is a blend of organized crime techno thriller with a terrorist subplot set in a mixed French/English area of Canada. The main character is young Jim Kincaid, an expert, legendary Robin Hood type computer hacker known internationally as White Cell. Instead of creating problems, White Cell seeks out computer viruses on the web and provides free cures to the general public in order to wipe out infections. Because authorities would still arrest Jim for hacking into their systems, Jim has kept his hacker activities secret to everyone, including his friends. During the day Jim works for the Canadian government as a computer programmer for an agency similar to the U.S. IRS.
After a brief foreshadowing story set in the past about a Jewish man passing on his out-of-wedlock newborn son, by a Catholic woman, to adoptive parents, the story opens in the Ottawa airport where terrorists seeking French autonomy perform a daring daytime kidnapping of a Canadian official. As it happens, the main characters in the story, good and bad, are all present at the airport as the kidnapping goes down, although that is not apparent to each of them at the time.
As the story unfolds, each of the main characters will meet and become entangled in various ways. Jim's Jewish best friend and coworker Ben were the only two together at the airport at the time of the kidnapping. Ben's non-Jewish girlfriend Cindy was at the airport separately to meet her Jewish best friend Penny, who was moving to Ottawa to share living accommodations with Cindy. Verde, a head of organized crime, actually coordinated the kidnapping of the Canadian official, although he is not personally involved with the terrorist cause.
The big problem for Jim arises when he finds that the cost of his secret "hobby" has put him into major debt and the banks are starting to call in the loans. Against the best advice of his friend Ben, Jim listens to another coworker who has ties to Verde, and contacts Verde for a short-term loan. Unfortunately Verde knows about Jim's computer capabilities and uses the loan to suck Jim into a lifetime "plan" of helping Verde gain dirt on and seize power over various high profile members of society.
While this is going on, Ben's girlfriend Cindy puts her matchmaking skills into gear and pressures Jim into contacting her best friend Penny in order to bring the two of them together. At first, resisting Cindy's attempts, Jim finally meets Penny and a budding romance ensues.
As Verde's demands and threats escalate, Jim becomes more and more desperate to find a way out of his dilemma. It will take combining his computer skills with the manpower of the RCMP in order to try and find a solution to his problem as well as a solution to the governmental kidnapping. But, in trying to solve his own problem will Jim be able to keep those closest to him safe from Verde and his organized crime subordinates?
The overall story was suspenseful and fast-paced, however, the story could really use some better editing in order to eliminate spelling and grammar mistakes. For example, the person taking out a loan borrows the money and does not loan the money. Also, I thought Jim was somewhat weak and pathetic at times. How could a guy forget to get back to his new girlfriend who desperately phoned him letting him know she is being followed by a rough looking character? Really?? And, I thought the RCMP characters came off as weak and somewhat incompetent, although in reality that might be closer to actual fact.