I was over at a neighbor's house in 1978 when I wandered into the den and found the resident 15-year-old busily cobbling something together with a screwdriver and some other odds and ends. "Whatcha' doin'?" I asked in my best Midwestern accent. "Oh," he replied, I'm tapping into checking account records at the ________ Bank." He pointed to the small television set that his thingamajig was attached to, and scrolling (well, I would have described it as "rolling" back then) down the screen were names and numbers and all sorts of data. I asked, "How in the heck are you doing that?" He gave me a semitechnical answer, but what it boiled down to was he was, as we would now say, hacking. He was also causing some mischief, but that's another story for another time.
Things have changed a lot in the intervening 23 years. Computers are everywhere now --- right in front of you, for example --- and I wouldn't call it an invasion. We've pretty much opened the door and invited them in, attracted by their allure, just as we would a wampyr that would come a-tapping on the window at 3:13 a.m. bearing promises of unbelievable pleasure and the realities of excruciating pain. Computers have so inserted themselves into our lives that we hardly think about them. That's about to change, however, if you sit down for a few hours and read THE BLUE NOWHERE by Jeffery Deaver.
Deaver has commented elsewhere concerning the tenacious outlining and research he engages in before he ultimately sets thought to paper. The research part of that quickly becomes evident in THE BLUE NOWHERE. Have you ever stopped to think about the mechanics involved in the near miracle that takes place when you touch a button or key on your keyboard and it miraculously materializes on your video monitor? You probably don't think about it at all, until the day you sit down to write that business proposal that's due in two hours and key "The quick brown fox jumped over the fence" and it comes out "Gds wscud vorsx rcm hypdcc xcgn psw blgnv." Deaver explains the mechanics of it and makes it not just interesting but fascinating --- and does it without detracting from the narrative of his storyline. Deaver also gives us some wo