CYBER DEAD OR ALIVE
Independently Published (2019)
Reviewed by Mark T. Sneed for Reader Views (5/2020)
Love a thriller? Love a chase? Love boats? “Cyber Dead or Alive” might be your cup of tea. It has it all. There is a man on the run and an international search for said man – Blaze Heaton. “Cyber Dead or Alive” hinges on an international cyber-attack that gets the President to issue a Wanted Dead or Alive reward for cyber criminals.
The book morphs from a bounty hunter story into a man on the run story. There are FBI agents, international spies, the Russian mafia, Russian hackers, and Artificial Intelligence in this ambitious effort by RL Blaisdell. There are just so many things that RL Blaisdell gets right. Blaze Heaton, the main character, is well thought out. All the action on the boats are believable. The better written parts of “Cyber Dead or Alive” happen on the boats. It is interesting, but not surprising, that the villain headquarters on a boat/ship as well.
The set up for the story is a little forced and illogical. For me, it was hard to dispel my belief at the idea that disagreeing with the President of the United States would make someone a legally wanted criminal with an illegal bounty on their head. Yet, Heaton, instead of going to his congressman or senator, goes on the run. Pursued by the FBI, a beautiful Israeli no-nonsense Massad operative and the Russian mafia Heaton eludes them all. Inevitably, the Israeli Massad beauty tracks Heaton down with a paper-thin cover story. There are illogical steps as Heaton comes face-to-face with the Massad agent but once Blaze and the agent get onboard his catamaran the story and action picks up.
RL Blaisdell finds his stride writing when talking about the inner workings and life on a boat. “Cyber Dead or Alive” is two stories. The story on the land. The story on the boat. The story on the land is not always logical or feasible. The story on the boat, seems to be more believable and energetic. It is also the more interesting part of the novel. The characters that Heaton meets and faces are interesting. The pacing could be a little tighter. The tension is not consistent.
There are just so many good things about “Cyber Dead or Alive” by RL Blaisdell, especially as the second in the reported KindleKat Series. Love the ideas. Hoping for more twists and turns and less predictable endings in the Blaze Heaton series.