DEATH LOGS IN – KIRKUS REVIEW
CEO Michael Nicholas may have survived gangsters out for blood, but he’s still in danger, facing assassination attempts and corporate takeover in Simon’s (Death Never Sleeps, 2013) latest thriller.
It’s been less than a year since Alex, brother to Gibraltar Financial chairman Michael, was murdered and subsequently, in a manner of speaking, resurrected—as an artificial intelligence designed in Alex’s image. Michael manages Alex’s sports-gambling and loan-sharking business, Tartarus, with ease, but the associated criminal element remains: Sharkey, who ordered Alex’s murder, is hiding in Italy with help from people in the Vatican. Vatican officials send a bishop to stir up trouble at Gibraltar—announced as a new board member to accommodate a merger (a thinly disguised takeover)—and a hit man, Frank Cortese, to off Michael. Michael needs the resourceful Alex-AI more than ever, as even Sindy Steele, his newly hired bodyguard and amour, is more lethal than he initially perceived. The novel teems with subplots, involving John Rizzo, a former cop, whom Michael humiliates after Rizzo tries to cheat the gambling end of Tartarus, and a photographer, who learns the hard way that Frank doesn’t like having his picture taken. But Simon expertly manages these various storylines, and they help maintain an impressive pace that’s speedier than the author’s previous outing. Michael is generally a believable protagonist; however, he isn’t even part of the story for much of the Gibraltar situation, which includes Hans, a Swiss banker (and Nazi descendant), who arrives in NYC to helm some of the company’s shady goings-on. Simon keeps the technological aspect basic: The novel offers no specifics on Michael’s investment in the AI’s recent upgrade or its expansive cyberaccess. It is perplexing, however, that no character seems to grasp the simple and well-known concept of artificial intelligence; Michael himself talks to the Alex-AI almost as if it were his brother’s ghost, naïvely asking it, “What’s it like to be dead?”
An action-laden plot and another open ending will have the series collecting many more fans.
Computers themselves, and software yet to be developed, will revolutionize the human mind. One day human intellect will become an on-demand commodity. Software will make us immortal. – Steve Jobs
E.J. Simon brings the future of artificial intelligence to present day in Death Logs In. This is a new breed of crime thriller. A must read! – Vito Colucci, Jr., author of the true crime book, Rogue Town, A City Under the Stranglehold of Organized Crime
Praise for E.J. Simon’s Debut Thriller Death Never Sleeps
“A fine technological thriller that only gets better as it goes along.”
“‘Death Never Sleeps’ is a page turner that will make you have a new outlook on technology and mortality.” – Crime Book Club, UK.
“Top 25 Summer Read” – Cyrus Webb
DEATH NEVER SLEEPS – KIRKUS REVIEW
A fine technological thriller that only gets better as it goes along.
In Simon’s debut thriller, a corporate CEO takes over a gambling and loan-sharking operation from his murdered brother.
Michael Nicholas, CEO of Gibraltar Financial, has done his best to steer clear of his brother Alex’s illegal business and shady cohorts. But when his brother is gunned down, his widow, Donna, needs Michael’s expertise to help collect his loans, pay a $700,000 debt to a bettor, and find another few million dollars that Alex has stashed. It’s no walk in the park: The bettor, a thug appropriately named Sharkey, demands his payment while boasting about how he could kill Michael in a public place. However, Michael might be able to find some answers by using technology that Alex left behind: an artificial intelligence, patterned after his brother’s image and personality, that’s been contacting Michael with cryptic messages. Soon Michael becomes obsessed with handling Alex’s operations and begins shirking his CEO duties, but it turns out that the AI can assist with the business. Simon’s novel has elements of a mystery, as there are other murders, a kidnapping and threats against Michael and his wife, Samantha. However, Michael is more a financial manager than an investigator, and the mystery unravels mostly on its own. Still, even when Michael isn’t actively looking for clues, the story gleefully offers an array of suspects: Alex had two ex-wives and a hairdresser lover, Jennifer—who was also having sex with a French movie star. Simon keeps the plot’s technological aspects simple, never explaining exactly how the AI works. At times, Simon does this cheekily, as when Jennifer says that Alex upgraded a laptop by having “these really smart people customize it or something.” The story also takes nerve-wracking turns; during a terrifying home invasion at Michael and Samantha’s house, for example, a murderer tells them point-blank: “I’m going to kill you.” Some mysteries remain unresolved at the end—including at least one murder—but a planned sequel should placate frustrated readers.
“A fast-paced novel with characters you will not forget. A story of murder, betrayal and love with twists and turns that as a professional detective even I didn’t expect. DEATH NEVER SLEEPS will leave you thinking about how today’s technology could change our concepts of life- and death. A Must Read! E. J. Simon is the real deal.– Vito Colucci, Jr., author of the true crime book, Rogue Town, A City Under the Stranglehold of Organized Crime
“‘Death Never Sleeps’ is a page turner that will make you have a new outlook on technology and mortality. We are very much looking forward to a follow-up. – Crime Book Club (United Kingdom)
“E. J. Simon weaves a tale with style and grace while this reader white- knuckled her way from start to finish. DEATH NEVER SLEEPS is thriller extraordinaire, keeping its audience riveted and slightly off-balance until its startling conclusion. Simon is a master at the game of suspense. Enter his world and be prepared to be awed. A page-turner at its best that left me begging for more.” -Judith Marks-White, author of Seducing Harry and Bachelor Degree
“Death Never Sleeps is a deeply imagined and richly detailed crime novel in which virtual reality and the real world intermingle. Let me warn you though, reading this will make you ponder the technology saturating our lives. You will also question where life ends, where death begins, and you will marvel at Mr. Simon’s imagination and superb storytelling prowess. Kudos!– Mark Rubinstein, author of Mad Dog House and Love Gone Mad