Serpska by Lucas Sterling is 257 pages of international spy/crime thriller. It starts out in Kenya with all the cell phones being attacked and rendered useless. Since in Kenya 40% of their daily transactions are paid for over cell phones this causes problems. Regular people cannot buy groceries and gas. Rioting soon breaks out. In the midst of this cyber attack, Serpska, a criminal organization, uses the chaos to cover up the fact that they are stealing money from thousands of bank accounts.
Governments all over the world start to investigate these events. The German intelligence agency picks up on Internet chatter that indicates that the cyber hackers may be in Budapest. Fredric Ulrich is assigned to go to Hungary to look for leads. With the help local agents he soon taps into and records encrypted phone conversations relative to the crime and future activities. By this time, members of Serpska are aware of his snooping and are out to kill him and retrieve the data. Thus starts the race to stop an even bigger crime.
This story could be right out of today’s headlines. Cyber criminals break into credit card or other institution’s computers to steal money or data. The basis for the story is a lot like Equifax being hacked recently. This Equifax attack has put data on 140 million Americans in jeopardy. Hopefully there are real people like Fredric and the others in this book that will track down the criminals causing these problems.
The characters in this book are believable and well developed. You can follow the logic and see how they could realistically find and follow the clues as the book progresses. This story has good guys and bad guys and some that are caught in the middle. It has chase scenes, fights, and good detective work. The continuous action and adventure make it a thriller you will enjoy from beginning to end.
I give Serpska by Lucas Sterling a definite four out of four stars. It is international in scope and relevant to things happening in the world today. The action is fast paced so that it keeps you wanting to see what comes next. There are fights and shootouts at times, but it is not all blood, guts, and gore like many books. There aren’t any nude or sex scenes that are prevalent in many other action thrillers.
In a world ravaged by international turmoil and uncertainty for the future, author Lucas Sterling presents Srepska, an intense and politically charged novel that is both timely and terrifying.
Fredric is a German intelligence agent that becomes embroiled in the search for Srepska, a mysterious organization that is a cross between organized crime and a global cabal. Somehow, this group is instigating chaos around the world, and taking advantage of the turmoil they create. Their name alone strikes fear in the hearts of those in power, but Fredric isn’t one to be cowed away from his duty. However, his life - and the fate of the free world - may hang on what he does next.
The book is exquisitely crafted, with the deepening web of conspiracy and shadowy dealings being slowly unfurled for readers in a patient, methodical path; every piece of the puzzle is there, but it will take the entire novel for readers to put it together. The minimal descriptions are poignant and sharp, and Sterling has an excellent eye for using detail to vividly paint a scene. The pace is fast, but never rushed, and the character development is carefully constructed, even when it comes to minor players.
The further the plot progresses, the more dire the situation seems, drawing parallels to the real world, and the often hopeless feeling that people around the world are currently experiencing. Srepska is brilliantly written to be enjoyable fiction, but also a thoughtful piece about what the dark side of the world truly looks like – and who is actually running the show."