Robin Burcell’s latest novel, The Kill Order, comes right out of the NSA scandal. Although written a year ago she delves into the notion that a secret government agency will spy on friends and foes via their computers. Known for writing about political espionage and conspiracy theories she has written an action and adventure story involving a cat/mouse game with computer technology.
This book brings back all the characters from the ATLAS series including Sydney Fitzpatrick and Zachary Griffin. Sydney still works for the FBI as a forensic artist but finds herself being outsourced to the ATLAS crew, a US intelligence agency that is off the charts and works clandestinely outside and inside the US.
In this book, Burcell explores the personal relationship between FBI Agent Fitzpatrick and ATLAS operative, Griffin, focusing on how a couple can overcome guilt, confusion, and the hurt based upon untruths. The Kill Order, the fourth book in the series, has Sydney changing from a rule follower, someone who is black and white, to someone who believes in grey areas. Being heavily influenced by the ATLAS group she bends the rule for the greater good, emphasis on the good.
This book continues where the last book left off so it is better to read the series in order. The plot has Sydney being hunted along with Piper Lawrence since both accidentally came upon a very important code. This code, known as the Devil’s Key, is invaluable and must never fall into the wrong hands. Having eidetic memory Piper remembers strings of random numbers she has seen, which includes the code. Sydney, on the other hand, recovered it while investigating her father’s murder. Thus, the President issued a “kill order,” for anyone who has knowledge of it. The cat and mouse game begins as both good guys and bad search to get their hands on the “Devil’s Key,” because it could seemingly devastate America’s entire infrastructure.
Burcell noted to blackfive.net, “I wanted to show in this book how we have lost our privacy. We see in my current storyline how we carry around in our pockets mini computers with our cell phones. People know where we are and what we are saying. What is scary is that there are countries like China that make our phones which means control goes out the window. I hope my book encourages readers to question what is currently happening with technology. As far as the NSA let’s remember that our government is made up of individuals. What I did with this book is use “the Devil’s Key,” based on a software that interconnects things. Allegedly, the person who built this software put in a “back door” at the request of the US government so they could spy on people using it. After it was discovered, by I believe Canada, people started to get killed.”
The Kill Order is a gripping account of what could happen in today’s technology age. It is a very suspenseful novel whose action begins from page one and never lets up.