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D.E.M.: Deus Ex Machina by [Ness, Lee]
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D.E.M.: Deus Ex Machina Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 339 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

About the Author

Lee Ness writes both fiction and non-fiction books and non-fiction articles. He has a historical fiction series set around the Olympics in Ancient Greece circa 440BC and a technological thriller called D.E.M. - Deus Ex Machina. His first book The Sports Motivation Master Plan passes on the experience of many years coaching athletes in multiple sports. Lee's articles appear in Athletics Weekly, on speedendurance.com and on stack.com. Lee is head coach at City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club and was Wiltshire Sport Coach of the Year in 2014.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3790 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00R9NS7X8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #830,482 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rachel has just witnessed the kidnapping of a young boy on CCTV right in her neighborhood! Heading out of her flat, she asks the police if there is anything they need help with but they just brush her off. Frustrated she heads back inside to create a new virtual person i.e anonymity for herself. Is she able to save the boy Danny? The answer is "Yes" but little does she know about the repercussions (consequences) that will follow. Who is D.E.M.? How does this unknown 'person' know all about her? Deborah, her neighbor, resides in the flat below her. She comes to the rescue Rachel when she passes out.

Thinking things through, Rachel's first thought is to run but she realizes that wouldn't solve her problem. Secured in her flat with a new steel door, locks, CCTV and a brand new, best she could buy, computer is she now safe? Cameron AKA Cam, was the store assistant she met when she purchased her new computer. Dave is the store owner. Cam offered to drop it off at her flat and she soon realizes that he is very knowledgeable on the computer side of things. In fact he is a "white hat hacker" testing companies weaknesses. Wanting to keep her safe as well as having a crush on her, Cam sends her over some coding work. In the meantime Deborah is turning out to be like a sister to Rachel.

Naming her stalker 'Deep Throat' it is a couple weeks before Rachel hears from he/she/it again. Via email she is given a job to do with a promised payment of a good sum of money. Will she ignore it or will curiosity get the better of her? I bet you already know the answer to that one! Rachel knows she needs Cam's help but doesn't want to put him in danger. The assignments start simple with good money but then the stakes are raised as well as the dough.
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Format: Paperback
I really, really enjoyed this book. It was a great, rollicking, fast paced read, and it combines some elements of thriller, suspense, drama, and mystery.
Now, I should qualify that my "day job" is in IT Security, so I am all too familiar with the situations, attack vectors, threat actors, and general technical content of the book. I live it every day. Also, do keep in mind that Lee is a Brit, and this was written from the context of life in Britain, not in the USA. Though the technology of course transcends national borders, and life is life wherever you happen to live on the planet. Life in one big city is similar to life in others. At least in the Modern, if not Western world.
As well, my last tour of duty was with the British Diplomatic Corps. So suffice it to say that the language used, the situations encountered, the characters and their motivation between the settings and the technology were all very familiar to me.
Did that help or hinder my reading of D.E.M.?
Well, since forensically I deal with this stuff every day, it kind of enhanced the reading pleasure for me in that I knew what the protagonists were doing - though not why. It was kind of cool to see the workings of hackers from their side of the screen. It won't help me catch criminals, but it was a very good point of view and made for a most satisfying read indeed.
Other reviewers have raised points about technology, and of course Rachel's character. Quite frankly, I found Rachel, Cam, Deb and Dave very consistent in their inconsistency. One reviewer commented on Rachel getting properly medicated to stop the hitting. But I actually had a girl friend, Tina, many years ago, and she behaved EXACTLY as Rachel did in the book. Whether or not she got properly medicated when she grew up I will never know.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I received a copy of Deus Ex Machina from its author, Lee Ness, in exchange for my honest review.

The first thing that struck me about Deus Ex Machina is its eyecatching cover which, I learned, is also the work of Lee Ness. It's a great image.

This novel doesn't waste any time with scene setting in its early pages, instead leaping straight into the action as we meet our heroine, Rachel, working her cybermagic to entrap a child abductor. I liked Rachel very much. She is witty and skilled at her occupation, doesn't play the docile female, and also has realistic flaws. Her relationship with Cam was always believable, although I did think their banter was overdone. Practically every remark contained an innuendo making it more Carry On than 24. (A lot of films and tv series' get namechecked which is fun to spot.) I feel that this is just as much a book for female readers as male, primarily due to the well-drawn female characters.

I don't have much idea how accurately the actual hacking was portrayed so just happily took everything at face value and went along with the thrilling ride. Deus Ex Machina has great pace throughout, only slowed a little by the political arguments and this was vital to the plot so excusable. Supporting character Dave adds a nice edge, particularly in the second half.

There were quite a few typos etc. which distracted my attention and I think I would have liked to have more time to 'meet' Rachel initially. Light descriptions meant my impressions of locations were always generic, rather than specific to this tale, and the concluding scenes felt rushed. However, I enjoyed the book and would read more books by Ness.
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