Malicious Voyeur

Original publish date: 30 June 2014

Computers, sex, and crime. A compelling trio that inundate every day life for all of us, regardless of our participation in any category we are aware of their existence and power. This trifecta features in James Raven’s Malicious with the murderous intrigue from a hacker targeting a police detective, and it speaks heavily to the perils of online life and the vulnerability of webcams.

But seriously, a friendly piece of advice: cover those webcams when not in use. You think that peeping toms only exist outside your windows? Not a chance. Thanks to advancements in computers with built-in webcams, voyeurism has evolved to a new level.

The story centers around Texan police detective Robyn Tate, a middle-aged, divorced mother and a blackmailing hacker who calls himself the Slave Master while enjoying the shows put on by unsuspecting victims. Robyn has a dirty little secret that she doesn’t want people to find out and the Slave Master preys off of it–Robyn frequents porn sites and masturbates to them…and the Slave Master has video evidence of it. It doesn’t seem connected to her professional life until she investigates deeper into the murder of Charlotte Slater and finds that Charlotte visited the same psychologist, had issues with her computer, and was blackmailed, too.

Brief chapters help to build suspense in the story and maintains a quick pace. To help provide a fuller image of what is going on, there are periodic chapters from the Slave Master’s perspective to offset the frightened, yet analytical mind of Robyn. With regards to the language used throughout the book, it was quite interesting to read about Texas and life in America in British English. I didn’t really have an issue with the use of British English, apart from the idioms and some word choices that were utilized as they would not be used, much less understood, by most Americans, and it brought me out of the story a bit with a moment of “hey…”. There were some areas of misused punctuation in the text, namely some question marks used in place of periods after a statement, but they were periodic. The story is brought together well and it ties up loose ends quite well to lead to, if not an entirely happy resolution, a realistic resolution.

Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5.

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