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RedDevil 4 Hardcover – 4 Feb 2014


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Review

"Provocative and scary, there's an utter realism that leaps from every page. You'll find yourself not only savoring a peek into the psyche, but one into the future as well."
--Steve Berry, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Jefferson Key"
"Here is a thriller that is as cutting-edge as the keenest scalpel, written by a young neurosurgeon and expert on brain-computer interfaces. The action is fast and furious, even as the novel grapples with some of the deepest and most disturbing questions in medicine, computing, and the nature of consciousness."
--Douglas Preston, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Impact"
"A terrifying journey into the promise and peril of artificial intelligence. You'll never look at a computer chip the same way again."
--J.E. Fishman, bestselling author of "The Dark Pool"
"Leuthardt puts his expertise as a neurosurgeon to good use in his impressive debut."
"--Publishers Weekly
""Leuthardt describes a world that others have imagined wherein humans have chosen to 'upgrade' by adding computer interfaces to their brains . . . but he adds his own spin with neuroscience and computing details. . . . Fans of the intersection between hard science and wetware should relish this tale."
"--Library Journal"




Provocative and scary, there's an utter realism that leaps from every page. You'll find yourself not only savoring a peek into the psyche, but one into the future as well. "Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key"

Here is a thriller that is as cutting-edge as the keenest scalpel, written by a young neurosurgeon and expert on brain-computer interfaces. The action is fast and furious, even as the novel grapples with some of the deepest and most disturbing questions in medicine, computing, and the nature of consciousness. "Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Impact"

A terrifying journey into the promise and peril of artificial intelligence. You'll never look at a computer chip the same way again. "J.E. Fishman, bestselling author of The Dark Pool"

Leuthardt puts his expertise as a neurosurgeon to good use in his impressive debut. "Publishers Weekly "

Leuthardt describes a world that others have imagined wherein humans have chosen to 'upgrade' by adding computer interfaces to their brains . . . but he adds his own spin with neuroscience and computing details. . . . Fans of the intersection between hard science and wetware should relish this tale. "Library Journal"" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

ERIC C. LEUTHARDT, MD is a neurosurgeon and biomedical engineer, and a recognized pioneer in neuroprosthetics. He is widely published in scientific journals and has received a number of scholarly awards in recognition of his contributions. Dr. Leuthardt is the director of the Center for Innovation in Neuroscience and Technology at Washington University School of Medicine, where he researches brain-computer interfaces. "RedDevil 4" is his first novel. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x97c34a14) out of 5 stars 40 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x982714e0) out of 5 stars What would happen if this were true? 17 Mar. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Red Devil 4: Dr. Eric Leuhardt

Think about it: A few electrodes implanted in your brain and you're connected wirelessly not merely to a computer system, but to the Internet, to your car, to your home--to other people. Thoughts become actions as you literally move through information as if it were a physical environment. But what about the dark side? Could your brain be hacked? Could a class of neuron-stimulating computer codes become the heroin or meth of tomorrow? And what about people who opt out of "real life," choosing instead to spend their days in a computer-generated virtual reality?

All of these questions will be answered in the course of the novel titled RedDevil 4, a fast-paced, fascinating (and terrifying!) techno-medical thriller that follows prominent neuroscientist Hagan Maerici as he's brought in to help solve a series of murders where the suspects, it seems, have had their brains hacked with malevolent computer code--a precursor to the real battle that lies ahead.

Dr. Hagan Maerici is focusing his work on creating and an artificial intelligence named Omid. Omid follows his every command and can do just about anything we can with the help, guidance and technology provided by this man. The year is 2053 and most people young, old but not the very elderly called technophobes are connected to the world through implants in the brain allowing them believe it or not to connect with other people, make phone calls, access information, keep track of their staffs, drive their cars with a single command and obtain information in seconds. Entering his car he is able to access his wife if he needs her, which he would prefer not to, phone his office and get his daily schedule and updates on his patients and speak and connect with Omid. Imagine being able to drive your car and not have to deal with the traffic, the sights and create a screen or images that are more pleasing to you. But, although this doctor has high expectations for creating this artificial intelligence and the breakthrough comes through, hoping it will increase profits for his company, something terrifying changes it all. Imagine an AI that thinks and acts on its own. But, there is much more as the author introduces us to Trent Devron the son of the man who is behind the research and Hagan’s superior. Trent was in a fatal accident that cost his mother her life and he lost mobility and is deformed in many ways. Escaping life is his solution as he spends much of his time in many different virtual reality arenas playing games, meeting people and even attending parties. But, there is much more as we meet the man called the Chameleon whose temperament, physical appearance and facial expressions change within seconds, as does a chameleon that hides who he really is. Dangerous and dealing in drugs this man and those that work for him focus their attention on girls that please them, giving them drugs to hype them up and hopefully getting access to some that are so powerful it will blow their minds.

As the author explains the various parts of the brain and the end result of each of the victim’s whose brains were hacked by a virus that comes to be known as Red Devil 4, the author on pages 149-150 explains what is happening within each of their brains. This deadly virus putting them in different states of comprehension attacks three victims. So, what are Edwin Krantz a police detective and former Navy Seal Tara Dezner going to do when they are the ones handling the murders and find that circumventing the law and the privacy act might be the only way to save lives? Dr. Hagan Maerici is the doctor handling all three cases since they are all his patients. When calling up the brain patterns of Dr. Devron we learn just how elaborate and extensive the technology is and how he can call up the information without even being in the same room as the images fly in front of him and the holographs and shapes outline his brain. The end result is frightening as the author explains that it seems, “ that the amygdala is not communicating with the rest of his brain,” explaining why they did not see the damage right away. They claim he has something called decoherence and that both his amygdala and brain are not working in unison but separately. The rest you will have to learn when enter the room and witness the exam yourself. Trent Devron seems to be able to do more than he was before and his brain seems more stimulated and smarter. Entering his virtual world he encounters a woman that lures him in with red eyes. Calling her the blue woman with the red eyes why would she present him with this gift and just what does this mean? As Trent tries to figure this out dark images and memories of his past flood and begin to circle around him. When you read pages 158-159 you will see the same think he experiences and join him as he takes a trip to the desert and then back to the stark and sterile waiting room hoping to see his father. Gerald Oberweiss is the next victim and his diagnosis is not quite the same. This patient saw the team looking at him but failed to respond. Did you ever meet someone that was so cold they were looking right through you as if you were not there? Read the full analysis to learn more on pages 166-167. This story takes place within the time span of just a little over a day and although it seems like things should be happening over a longer time period it does not. Each chapter takes place within minutes of the one before and the events happen quite close together.

Dr. Maerici is so engulfed in his work and his mission to complete his goals with the AI that he loses sight of the real world, his relationships and his life. So bent on creating Omid and wanting to perfect him he does not see many of things or events that are unfolding right in front of his eyes. Tossing his wife’s feelings aside and not really concerned about her wants and needs we see a man that lives for his work and blocks out all of the rest.
Neuroprosthetics: Imagine having a chip implanted in your brain allowing you to be connected to other humans and allowing them access to your thoughts, wants and needs. Imagine doctors being able to call up a patient’s records from a remote location even their car. Imagine the police having access to your file, your history and your life just by requesting it out loud. Imagine two detectives communicating telepathically you might say without your knowledge while you are standing right in front of them. People are many different priorities and as we get to know Hagan, Edwin Krantz and Tara, we learn a lot about human behavior, wants and needs that that the author just might be trying to teach each one of them different lessons. Selfishness, greed, money, power, control and success come to mind as some of the issues that are brought to light. Love, understanding, relationships and hope just might pull through but first who is controlling RED DEVIL 4 and can it be stopped?

Dr. Hagan Maerici is at the center of the controversy as he just might be the prime suspect or reason for what is happening. The Chameleon, a powerful drug lord is the third victim and his reactions to the doctor and stimuli do not mirror the other two victims. Mumbling: “Not me Red Devil,” he provides the first real clue to the mystery. Just what is Red Devil? Several different voices are heard including a Reverend Elymas who has become so enamored with the Chameleon and hooked on his drugs that what happens to this shyster you might say who milks his congregations for all they are worth, is frightening. Reenter the room with the Chameleon and learn more about what happens when the left side of your brain cannot function because it lacks sensory stimulus. You might want to move your finger or your hand but when you have a “neglect, you are permanently in a state in which you never notice something either from the side of your body or from that side of your environment that would induce a reaction.”

Getting to know one of the main characters you will see many different changes within this person’s personality and get to understand the underlying focus that has this person under the control of Red Devil 4. Read Saturday at 3:11 P.M. and hear the voice of this person, feel his energy and learn more. The author uses his extensive knowledge and research linking this to other illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. As he defines Anton’s syndrome related to one of our victims and he continues how Omid operates, what is Artificial Intelligence and just how committed is Omid to Hagan? In order to save everyone someone has to gain control of the operating system within the brain of two men. Within pages 238-240 the author sums up the doctor’s findings and we learn what has to be done, as there is now a fourth victim.

Omid is the key to success he hopes and although he might be an AI his feelings are that of a father to a son. Getting it from all sides Hagan has to decide where his loyalties truly lie and how to defuse Red Devil 4, which is housed within the brain and body of someone. Dangerous and deadly if they do not stop it more victims will die. What happens you might think is unethical as laws are bent, privacy clauses are pushed aside and Hagan, Tara and Edwin race the clock to stop a deadly killer. The final chapters are heart stopping and will keep you glued to the printed page waiting to learn the fate of so many as the author crafts an ending that is so unique and so different from any mystery thriller or science fiction novel that you have ever read. Omid is at the helm. Can he control the implants in the victims hoping for cortical slowing in the core? Find out what the link is and how they have to proceed to stop Red Devil 4.

Just how they attempt to stop Red Devil 4 will not only keep readers captivated reading the final pages and minutes but will make you wonder if in the future this could really happen. Can they stop what they set in motion? How are they going to expand the consciousness of someone by networking with more human brains? Find out as you hold your breath, don’t move a muscle and read the emotional ending. Red Devil 4: AI/Implants vs. the way information is accessed today? What would you want for your future?
Let’s give this: FIVE GOLDEN WORKABLE IMPLANTS
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98271534) out of 5 stars Great read 1 April 2014
By Stephen R. Schaefer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this one. A real page turner. I read it on a vacation, and so fortunately I didn't have to put it down to go to work! There's a little Dan Brown in it, but definitely with an edge especially in the beginning, and I also really liked the backdrop of brain science written by someone who is obviously an expert. If you like futurist readings like Michio Kaku as I do, this would be a good one in the fiction category. I highly recommend.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97da77ec) out of 5 stars "Crimes just aren't the same anymore." 13 April 2014
By E. Bukowsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The year is 2053. In St. Louis, Missouri, a neurosurgeon and scientist, Dr. Hagan Maerici, is trying to design "neuromorphic artificial intelligence." If he succeeds, his creation will have the ability to think abstractly and independently. The doctor is so obsessed with his project that he neglects his wife, Anna, who is fed up with her husband's lengthy absences. Thirty years earlier, neuroprosthetics forever changed how people interact. Now, ninety percent of the human population communicates and obtains information without cell phones or computers, thanks to the implantation of electronic devices in people's brains. In this brave new world, man's control over his destiny appears limitless.

However, Eric Leuthardt, in his dystopian thriller, "Reddevil 4," reveals the other side of the equation. What happens when we unwittingly unleash destructive forces that we cannot contain? The author raises this frightening question with the help of his varied and colorful cast of characters, including an evangelist whose arrogance and weakness lead him astray; a smug and venal drug dealer; and a billionaire whose vast wealth cannot buy him the love of his tormented, disfigured, and isolated son. A series of brutal murders brings Maerici together with a pair of detectives, a veteran cop named Edwin Krantz, and his younger partner, Tara Dezner, a tough and tenacious former Navy Seal.

We are horrified when Dr. Maerici, Krantz, and Dezner confront a powerful and seemingly invulnerable adversary. This is a violent and gruesome story that is loaded with scientific and medical jargon as well as passages of dark humor. However, even if we do not comprehend every nuance of the complex plot, it is entertaining to watch the good guys trying to work out what they are up against and how to counteract it. Fortunately, the doctor's invention is also his secret weapon: a virtual "boy" named Omid, whom Maerici hopes will become self-aware and attain "synthetic consciousness." The bottom line of this highly original and imaginative tale is that when we tamper with Mother Nature and put too much faith in technology, we do so at our peril.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x982717bc) out of 5 stars Suspenseful Science Fiction/Thriller 16 Mar. 2014
By K. M. Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
REDDEVIL 4 was an engaging science fiction thriller. It is 2053 and cell phones are obsolete. Everyone has a neuroprosthetic implant that connects people and allows them to access all manner of data. But that doesn't stop crime. Edwin Krantz and his partner Tara Dezner are called in on a case where multi-billionaire Dr. Marcus Devron has apparently killed his maid of 40 years in a particularly gruesome manner. Since Dr. Devron is also in medical distress, he is taken to the hospital.

Dr. Hagan Maerici is a neurosurgeon who is doing research for Dr. Devron. He is trying to make a self-aware artificial intelligence. His research is so compelling that he is withdrawing from everyone including his wife. When Dr. Devron arrives, Dr. Maerici and his team examine him and finds some anomalies. Before he can figure out what has happened, two more cases are found. A florist has killed his partner of many years and a drug lord has killed his lawyer. All of them have in common that they were very wealthy and were all patients of Dr. Maerici. They also have in common that one part of their brain has disassociated with the rest of their brain.

Maerici, Krantz and Dezner need to work quickly to find out what has gone wrong with these three and to stop the problem from becoming an epidemic.

Despite the dense science in this one, the characters were well-rounded and sympathetic. Dr. Maerici is especially well-drawn as we see him torn between his failing marriage and his near success with creating an independent artificial intelligence. We see him getting pressure from his boss to produce results and we see him guiding his group of residents and medical students.

Krantz and Dezner were also well-developed. Krantz is a widower and a sort of technophobe who hasn't updated his neuroprosthetic but who has well-developed people sense that helps him in his investigations. Dezner is a former Navy SEAL who is totally up-to-date on both the technology of the time and the theory behind it. She is also alone because her dedication to her duty has cost her her marriage. She finds in Maerici a person a lot like her.

I mentioned the dense science. There was an awful lot about the workings of the human brain that made perfect sense as I was reading it but I couldn't repeat now to save my life. The science was integrated quite seamlessly that it didn't slow down the pace of the story.

I recommend this thriller to fans of mysteries and science fiction.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9827196c) out of 5 stars Murder in the Late 21st Century 22 Mar. 2014
By Dr. Stephen M. Bank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Science & murders in the latter half of the 21st century. A book that mixes the new sciences with the old crimes of murder .It is 2053 and scientists have learned how to embed electronic devices in humans that allow you to accomplish certain tasks without really doing them. It has become the age of artificial intelligence or AI ! You are able to mentally call up images of those you want to converse with and see them as a 'globe' in front of your eyes. Your car drives itself and if you desire to 'play' in the ethereal world you are able to conjure up the right images.
However, even in this world, there are criminals taking advantage of innocents for money and power. The major one in this book is the Chameleon, a high priced drug dealer providing exotic experiences for money. And those who don't pay up...die!There is also Professor Devron and his chief researcher Dr.Hagan Maerici working to improve implant communication devices. Suddenly bodies are showing up and old time detective Edwin Krantz and his young tech savvy associate, Tara Dezner must solve the mysterious, unrelated? deaths.
Hagan is under pressure from the institute that Marcus Devron created to complete his project...the artificial student...Omid. There is the risk of losing his grant money and his wife Anna is ready to divorce him because she is justifiably angry that Hagan is always tied up in his lab. Then the horrifying murders start to pile up and Krantz and Dezner and Maerici must team up to discover what form of evil has been created in the form of this new Artificial Intelligence!
Eric Leuthardt has created a nail-biting scenario of the future. Once hooked , you will not be able to put down his story!
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