Cyber-criminals are hunting for new victims when they target a brilliant programmer to join their cause.
Jacob Michaels, computer pen-tester extraordinaire, settled into a quiet life of work to polish his skills after his mother dies. These plans are turned upside down when he discovers his life is in danger. As Jacob sets off to find those who target him, he discovers new technology views which expose him to the inner-workings of previously unknown global technologist experts. Jacob learns that safeguards for technology are always evolving and being exploited. His challenge becomes how to keep ahead of the criminals and identify who to trust.
Jacob finds the space between cyber good guy and evil cyber thugs difficult to navigate as well as highly deadly. Like rust, the cat and mouse game of the new cyber warfare age never sleeps.
As he explores the world of the Dark Net here in the 21st century he learns all too quickly that technology and the computer is today’s weapon of choice! With his best friend Buzz, and a distractingly beautiful encryptionist Petra, Jacob thinks he has the brains, expertise, and programming proficiency to outsmart the cyber thugs. He finds out, however, that even he is susceptible to having his identity slip through his fingers. But the assignation of his identity proved he had more to learn.
In their debut techno thriller, The Enigma Factor, book 1 of The Enigma Series, award-winning authors Breakfield and Burkey weave a complex tale of danger, intrigue, and international cyber combat. The Enigma Factor battles pits Jacob against global cyber masterminds using relevant technology elements of programming, encryption, crypto-currency, identity theft, and hacking. They use the technology foundation and layer on travel, romance, humor and mystery that highlight the professional excellence of Jacob, more so perhaps due to his sheltered upbringing.
You’ll want to keep reading until the end, to understand who Jacob should and should not trust.
MYSTERY/TECHNO THRILLER: Jacob Michaels is an expert programmer who protects companies from cyber criminals wishing to exploit them. When he finds himself targeted by a hacker collective who tries to blackmail him into helping with their dark scheme, he embarks on a mission with his best friend Buzz, and skilled encryptionist Petra to foil the plot and save the day. As he gets closer to the truth, he finds that the distinction between good guys and bad guys becomes increasingly hard to define.
Breakfield and Burkey’s joint fictional debut is certainly done with style – after a somewhat slow start, this tense techno-thriller keeps the listener on the seat’s edge, as the roller coaster ride of twists and turns roars into the story’s conclusion with smoke billowing from the brakes! The authors combine a blistering pace and fleshed-out characters with startling aplomb, ensnaring listeners and pulling them along the dark path of the book.
Steven Jay Cohen is rather a legend in the audiobook world, and his performance here certainly lives up to the hype. His warm, engaging vocals and meticulous delivery seem to glide effortlessly across the story, drawing the listener in and holding them there through each blistering twist and hairpin turn. The audio production is professional and highly polished, with nary a background noise or misspeak to be found.
For fans of action, adventure and intrigue with a dash of romance, this is the book to listen to! Find a cozy sofa and hang on tight while careening through this tale, and be prepared for a satisfying audiobook.
In this debut techno-thriller, the first in a planned series, a hacker finds his life turned upside down as a mysterious company tries to recruit him.
Jacob Michaels, a hacker working as a tester for a New York information-security company called PT, Inc., is happy to be invited for a meeting at DEFCON, an annual hacker convention in Las Vegas. However, the invite comes in the form of an airline ticket with Jacob’s full name and address—information that he usually keeps concealed. It soon becomes clear that Jacob is under cyberattack, as people start receiving emails he didn’t send, and even the keycard to his room gets rejected. Meanwhile, a strange man named Otto is trying to hire Jacob—while also monitoring Jacob without his knowledge. Breakfield and Burkey’s novel is a thriller for the 21st century. Instead of drug or money mules, it features “information mules” who steal others’ codes and work for organizations such as Dteam, a Russian group that pilfers funds electronically. Jacob gradually learns about Otto’s business and its possible link to Jacob’s mother, who was run down by a car; at the same time, he becomes close with fellow hacker Petra, who may be on Otto’s payroll. Later, the focus shifts toward Dteam, run by a man named Grigory, and a Chinese school for cyberwarfare run by Lt. Col. Ling Po. Grigory and Po are remarkable villains, but the new subplots make Jacob a supporting character in his own story. On the plus side, Buzz, Jacob’s rich-kid friend who paid his way through MIT, faces so many obstacles that most readers won’t notice that the protagonist is sitting on the sidelines. Some exclamations, such as “Oh, poop!” give the story the feel of a YA novel, but the story’s sex scenes are markedly adult, in a romance-novel way: “[H]e pulled her closer and kissed her with such passion she immediately heated up.”
A complex thriller with a hacker-centric plot and polished technological descriptions that may attract new fans.
Reviewed by Elise Towner for Readers' Favorite - 5 Star
The Enigma Factor by Charles V Breakfield and Roxanne E Burkey is a very well written story about technology professionals and the financial organizations they are empowered to protect and serve with the utmost integrity. A quote from the book was extremely appealing to me, coming from a financial background myself: “Political powers come and go, but the financial well-being cannot afford to be corrupted.” I could not agree more with that statement. The main characters exhibit a rare “Robin Hood” mentality as the story of Jacob, Buzz, and Petra unravelled, leaving me cheering for technology geeks all over the globe, and especially for the career-oriented Jacob and his newly found love interest, Petra. Trust me, there is much more to this story than just the romance. The layout of this book alone is eye-catching and the programming language “10100101011010” and the chapter titles set the tone.
I really enjoyed how the authors chronicled the meeting of two soul mates. A love story ensues with the accomplished genius Jacob and the lovely intelligent Petra. Their romance reminds me of “A Beautiful Mind”, but without the schizophrenia. Both equally yoked, Jacob and Petra share their knowledge and love for Information Technology in their respective roles when securing the assets of select upper echelons in the U.S. and their interests abroad. I was fascinated with the authors' attention to detail while completely enthralled with reading The Enigma Factor, and look forward to exploring the rest of the Enigma series. I cannot say enough about this book. If you like stories that encompass history, adventure, with all the complexities of betrayal and intrigue faced by those who provide security for the financial sector, then you will enjoy this work. I would love to see this series made into a movie! Well done!