Review

Hooked: A Thriller About Love and Other Addictions

by Matt Richtel

Nathanial Idle has finished medical school, finds himself
$100,000 in debt and begins having second thoughts about his career
path. He is, however, very interested in medical stories --- both
the breakthrough discoveries and the abuses in his field of study.
So, instead of completing the required residency program to become
a doctor, he turns to investigative journalism.

It is during this time of great decisions that he meets the love of
his life. Annie is everything he could hope for, more than he
imagined could exist in a human being. Their romance is storybook
perfect --- perhaps too perfect to last --- and as quickly as he
finds her, an accident snatches her from him. Nat is beyond
consolation and feels himself destined to go through the rest of
his life with a gaping hole in his being.

Yet he continues moving mechanically from day to day, from
assignment to assignment, taking comfort from the various people in
his life who offer it to him. It is at this point that the story
opens with Nat sitting in the Sunshine Café and someone
sliding a piece of paper onto the table. He picks it up and reads:
Get out of the café…NOW. And then the place
explodes.

The explosion sets off a series of fires and deaths that seem too
connected to be coincidental. Simon Anderson, a patron in the
Internet café, does not recover from his wounds. Andy, a
friend of Erin (one of the waitresses), becomes depressed and jumps
off the Golden Gate Bridge. The police uncover Erin’s history
and suspect that she may have had something to do with the
explosion. What is the connection, the common thread that pulls
these events together?

As Nat hangs on to the hope that Annie was the one who warned him
about the explosion, he seeks to prove that she is somehow still
alive. But the more he investigates, the more he discovers that he
didn’t really know her. He finds out that his adorable,
quirky little angel may have been the mastermind behind the
problems now facing her billionaire father’s investment
company. He learns that her job as a venture capitalist went far
beyond securing investments for the company. In fact, her schemes
may have led to cover-ups involving both death and
destruction.

HOOKED is a thought-provoking, authoritative first novel by
Matt Richtel that illustrates some of the inherent dangers in
allowing technology to become the “drug” or the
“god” of our lives. It forces us to face our own
addictions to our digital instruments and to realize how excitedly
we look forward to the “next big thing.” Is there some
kind of a plot to turn our Blackberries into Crackberries? Could
there be? Using the skills learned as a journalist, Richtel does
not lose any of the themes or storylines in this complex tale,
causing readers to eagerly reach the well-drawn conclusion.

Warning: If you are currently in a 12-Step program for
electronics addicts, I would not recommend this book.

Hooked: A Thriller About Love and Other Addictions
by Matt Richtel

  • Publication Date: June 1, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve
  • ISBN-10: 0446580082
  • ISBN-13: 9780446580083