I find it all too easy to be deceived these days. A news platform tells us one story, while another platform relays the opposite. Even worse to me than exaggeration are lies. Especially lies that are told for the advancement of power. So I was especially intrigued to read Net of Deception when it was offered to me for review. Few can be more powerful than those who have control of the dark web.
The novel begins with Paul Mason who is the owner of Romona Medical Systems, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Chicago, going on his computer to order sildenafil. He realizes that there’s something odd about giving personal information such as his driver’s license over the internet, as well as the site not requiring any information from his doctor, but his desire for Viagra is so great that he pretends to overlook these uncomfortable facts.
Enter Richard Harrison, a Senator from Arkansas who proclaims to adhere to a Christian-conservative point of view, but in actuality has a male lover who works for his campaign. Harrison, too, seeks help for sexual dysfunction from the Alive! website just as Paul Mason has done.
Behind the scenes of Alive! are Richie Yonic and Cvetko Novak, the pseudo doctor and tech wizard who manipulate customers on the website purported to help those men who seek medical assistance for erectile dysfunction. They are most interested in extremely wealthy men who can easily be manipulated by their position and shame.
…having money and being miserable were not necessarily polar opposites. On the contrary, these qualities seemed not infrequently to find their own harmony. Richie felt the need to take advantage of this situation…he wanted to test the limits to create absolute mayhem with the exclusive club of the rich and impotent.p. 80
Of course, this is what ensues: a manipulation in their clients’ lives which causes utter chaos. Both the FBI and Interpol are required to help unravel the subsequent mess.
Written with the perspective of a doctor most knowledgeable in the medical field, this thriller is a welcome respite from the typical “thriller” containing a woman behind a window, or by a train, or stuck within the cabin of a ship. Instead, we are given a fresh take on horror: what can happen when we willingly embrace what it is we want to hear instead of what we ought to hear because we are “infected with the disease of wanting more.”
Accompanying the completion of this novel is the feeling of relief I have of not getting involved with an unknown company from the internet. For those who have, may wish they never did.