INTERNET UNDER ATTACK IN THRILLER

The Seven Keys was reviewed in daily newspaper Hallandsposten:

INTERNET UNDER ATTACK IN THRILLER

Omslag De sju nycklarnaAuthor Åsa Schwarz has a B. A. in computer and systems sciences and works as an IT security consultant. Thus, when she writes a thriller about hackers, we may rest assured that she knows what she is writing about.

The Seven Keys is a frightening, very fast-paced thriller. It centres around a world-wide attack targeting the seven people who hold the keys to the Internet. Once a quarter these seven persons meet in Washington to uppdate the system making traffic on the Internet possible. This is of vital importance for the Internet – and thus modern society – to function.

One of the key holders is Swedish Rebecka. She succeeds in escaping her attackers and go into hiding. Eventually she gets in touch with two other key holders who have also managed to stay alive. Now the hunt for the cyber terrorist begins. The clues are pointing every which way – to Chinese intelligence services, to neo-Nazi organisations, and to the NSA. Who is friend and who is foe? Whom can you trust?

At the same time, Rebecka is facing other, more personal problems. On her husbands computer she finds evidence of him being unfaithful. He has brought the children to a safe house, but how safe is it really? The enemy seems to be continually one step ahead.

There is no dearth of conflict in this thriller. When one believes the very worst to have happened and relaxes a bit, there is the next punch in the face. This is all incredibly exciting and one’s brain has to struggle to figure out possible solutions to the mystery. The plot is so well constructed that only bits and pieces of the truth seep through and the turning points keep one on edge all the time.

An extra plus for Rebecka not being the Lisbeth Salander type, but about forty and a married mother of two, who has, to be sure, been a hacker in her youth but who didn’t suffer a difficult upbringing and who doesn’t hate society. She only wants to do her best to stop the keys to the Internet from ending up in the wrong hands.

One of the real-life seven key holders actually is Swedish. There is a short documentary about her on YouTube (in Swedish). Watch it!

— Annika Bengtsson

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