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Deadly Odds 4.0

$14.95 $10.95

In this fourth adventure in the DEADLY ODDS cyberthriller series, reformed hacker Arnold Gold is plunged into a race against time when he’s hired by a prestigious Seattle law firm to resolve a ransomware attack that threatens its very existence. But, from the start, Arnold has ill-defined misgivings about his secretive, control-freak client and suspects he’s being used to cover up an inside job.

But, by who?

And how far would the thief go to stay in the shadows?

The more he investigates, the more Arnold must walk a fine line between preserving his professional reputation and his personal honor. Especially when it becomes clear the thief is willing to move up to murder—and Arnold Gold is in the crosshairs.

“William Gibson meets John Grisham in Allen Wyler’s new thriller featuring cyber-sleuth Arnold Gold who mixes it up with suspect lawyers, hackers and cops in the fittingly gray setting of Seattle. The plot is as fast as a Boeing jet and the tension is as high as the Space Needle.”

–Mark Lindquist, author of The No Back Down Woman

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Allen Wyler

Allen Wyler is a neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee. In 2002 he left active practice to become Medical Director for a start-up medical technology company, Northstar Neuroscience, which went public (NSTR) in 2006. Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early ‘70s, Wyler began writing fiction in earnest and published his first book in 2005. At the end of 2007 he retired to devote full time to writing and served as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. He served as a judge for the Hammett Award and has been nominated twice for a Thriller Award. He now chairs the Institutional Review Board at a major medical center in Seattle where he lives with his wife.

I was hesitant to read Deadly Odds 4.0 by Allen Wyler initially because I had not read any of the preceding books in the series. While the plot does not necessitate the knowledge of the previous books to enjoy, there are a handful of references that may have added additional depth, had I read the first three books previously. The author, Allen Wyler, has created an ex-hacker turned business owner and digital-mastermind, Arnold Gold, who is offered a mysterious job with a small, yet well-known law firm in Seattle. After signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the law firm, Arnold, the protagonist “Rent a Geek” (LOC 29) finds himself in a moral dilemma between staying loyal to his NDA and maintaining the reputation of his business or getting out of the mysterious ransomware project that seems to dredge up issues of legality and confidentiality. Arnold must come to terms with his internal struggle throughout the storyline, as the stakes begin to rise with each new piece of the puzzle that he uncovers. Deadly Odds 4.0 is an extremely easy read, with colloquial language, and a riveting storyline that you can easily find yourself wrapped up in. I finished the book in a couple of hours. The most noteworthy positive aspect was how Wyler was able to engage the reader in their own discovery of who unleashed the ransomware. I personally found the writing style a bit choppy. There are hard stops between scenes when Wyler seems unable (or unwilling) to transition between scenes. However, it did not cause any issues in the flow of the storyline, I just found the writing style to be a bit lazy. The only other major negative aspect of the book was the characters are very one-dimensional. Again, with a grain of salt, because I do not have the knowledge from the previous books in the series to compare the character’s growth from book one up until now. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The book was exceptionally well edited. The writing style was very nuanced but held a very consistent style throughout the book. From a content standpoint, the plot was very engaging. The reason Deadly Odds 4.0 does not receive a 4.0 for me is because the writing style was one dimensional, and relied heavily on the storyline, rather than the writing itself. I recommend this book to mystery-crime lovers who are looking for an easy, entertaining, surface-level read. The best thing about a book that is a part of a series is that you have the ability to keep the story going if you find that, like myself, you were easily engaged by the “Rent a Geek” (Loc 29) Arnold Gold.

Mckinzie Cowley (OnlineBookClub.org)

Deadly Odds 4.0 by Allen Wyler is a smart, suspenseful adventure into the secret world of cyber threats and ransomware. Arnold Gold is a cybersecurity expert who has just launched his new business, Gold and Associates, a one-man company with an office in Honolulu and Seattle. When a hacker strikes a small law firm in Seattle with a ransomware attack, they desperately approach Arnold Gold to help them resolve the problem. Arnold can’t resist the offer of being flown from Honolulu to Seattle on the law firm’s private jet. My favorite thing about this book is that Arnold Gold takes us with him on a journey of defeating the cyber threats and tells us step by step how he is accomplishing that without overwhelming the reader in technical jargon. My favorite “character” in the book is SAM. SAM is the AI application that constantly runs in the background doing all of the repetitive, grinding work, inspecting the data, and decrypting the computer files. That leaves our main character, Arnold Gold, free to investigate and interact with the people involved. SAM was present throughout the story, constantly churning through the data, freeing up Arnold’s time to figure out the people and the overall situation. Throughout the story, I was envious of Arnold Gold’s business and lifestyle. If I could live my life and career over, I would take the entrepreneurial path instead of always working for someone else. What a life that would be! If I had been in Arnold Gold’s position, I would have resolved the ransomware problem, collected my fee, and left with a positive recommendation from the law firm that had hired me. But that wouldn’t have made a very exciting story. I can’t think of anything I didn’t love about the book. I particularly loved the ending. It was very emotional and unexpectedly brought tears to my eyes. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever dreamed of being a hacker or cybersecurity expert. Deadly Odds 4.0 is the fourth installment of the powerful cyber-thriller series. The book refers to a few situations from previous books in the series; for example, the recent disappearance of Rachael and the execution of his friend, Howie. But overall it stands alone as its own story. This book would not be appropriate for young readers due to the violence and sexual content. I am giving this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. The storytelling and the pace of the book made my reading experience a very exciting one. However, the book could use another round of proofreading. I found several typos.

Twylla (OnlineBookClub.org)

The book Deadly Odds 4.0 will keep you hooked from the beginning when the main character, Arnold, embarks on a journey to Seattle on a very secretive job for a law firm. Despite being given no details before leaving his residence in Honolulu, Arnold agrees to hear this firm out. Once in Seattle, the firm briefs him on their issue and the help they are looking for. Arnold gets to work on this temporary job to try and save the firm from being destroyed by ransomware. While helping the company, he runs into a few mysterious things on their computers that make him paranoid of the situation. When looking deeper, he reveals more than he thought he would find. This story will keep you turning pages to see what steps Arnold is going to take to get justice for the company. This is the fourth book in a series, but other than a couple of references to previous books, you don’t need to read them in order. This book can stand alone and be fully understood. I was glad that I didn’t feel lost after not reading the previous novels. I liked the way that the author, Allen Wyler, organized this book. It was easy to follow and kept the perspective of the main character throughout its entirety. I found myself pondering the issues that were going on and trying to decipher who’s behind everything. While I wanted to rate this book at 4 stars, the frequent grammar errors were distracting. I found more than twenty errors within the book. This was the biggest negative to reading this book. The author gave sufficient explanation to the situations and went into what the different technical computer processes were. The grammatical and spelling issues were my only issues with the book. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. As previously stated, the book has a lot of grammatical errors that need to be polished up. Once those are dealt with I think this will be a highly rated book for the twists and turns that it takes and the easy story line to follow. I would definitely be interested in reading the other books in the series after reading this one. The brief flashbacks to previous books’ experiences have piqued my interest into what those books entail. I would recommend this book to young adults and older. It contains some vulgar and sexual language throughout. This book would be a good read for someone that likes to read mystery books that contain law enforcement and hackers. It is a relatively quick read, especially once you get hooked on knowing the outcome.

abbiegault22 (OnlineBookClub.org)

When I chose to read a cyber-thriller, I had no idea how exciting it would be. Deadly Odds 4.0 by Allen Wyler is the fourth book in a series of this cyber-thriller. I was hooked from the first page. We meet Arnold Gold who it turns out to be a geek. An excellent geek he is. Arnold receives a phone call from a very prestigious law firm in Seattle. There is much secrecy involving this job. Arnold and Associates is actually a one man office. Offices in Honolulu and Seattle. Arnold wants to expand his one-man business. His girlfriend and dog live in Honolulu, but he feels this would be a great opportunity. When the head of the law firm Noah Cain calls and wants to send his private jet to bring Arnold to Seattle, but first Noah tells Arnold that he must sign a NDA, (non-disclosure agreement) before the jet will take off. This should have sent whistles and fireworks blowing in Arnold’s brain and he was very reluctant to go. However, to him it was a challenge, especially when he is told it involves ransomware. So, Arnold signed the NDA and the jet then took off for Seattle. One thing about Arnold is that he is a trusting individual and when he meets Noah Cain he has a good feeling. However, when he meets the other partners things just don’t seem right. But he has a job to do, and he will dig deep till he finds out what is going on. The best thing about this book is that it does give you some background information so you do know who certain people are. I could not put this book down. I wanted to know who did it? There is so much tension throughout the book and there was always danger lurking. I loved some characters and I hated others. The story had a great flow to it and I was never confused. I did not read books one, two or three. I really wish I had. One thing I will say is that I learned a lot about malware, ransomware, the darkweb, spyware and all sorts of things that the everyday hacker does. These hackers know how to do it and they have friends to help. Malware is one of the biggest threats to the security of your computer, tablet or iPhone. I give Deadly Odds 4.0 a 4 out of 4 stars rating. I loved reading it and just couldn’t put it down. As I’m reading I’m thinking who did this, who could have done that. Very well written book. I would definitely recommend this fourth book to anyone who enjoys a good cyber-thriller or a well written mystery. This book is not recommended for younger readers due to sexual suggestive, vulgar language and murder.

Dylan921 (OnlineBookClub.org)

Deadly Odds 4.0 by Allen Wyler was an interesting read. The protagonist Arnold Gold is introduced immediately as the somewhat new business owner of Gold and Associates, an IT firm specializing in on and off-site solutions for smaller firms experiencing a variety of network problems. Arnold receives a call from a Seattle number that he doesn’t recognize. He answers it because it could be a potential new client. It was! During this call he is offered a mysterious position that would require him to fly immediately to Seattle, via private jet. This job requires him to make a hasty decision with very little information and time to think it over. After tying up several loose ends, he is on his way to Seattle from Honolulu. Upon arriving in Seattle and during the very private and very discreet meeting on the particular job being offered, he experiences uneasy feelings about accepting the position. There were too many points brought up that didn’t add up. Arnold ultimately accepts the job and begins working on the issue at once. During his investigation more and more things continue to not add up. At this point the story starts moving very quickly and with suspense at the beginning and end of every page and chapter I have to admit I found it difficult to stop reading. Allen Wyler takes you on an exciting ride through Seattle with deceit and danger around every corner putting Arnold in many compromising situations that make him question why he even accepted the job and wishing he was back in Honolulu. Even though Deadly Odds 4.0 starts off a little slow, Allen Wyler does a great job of introducing the characters and settings that are about to take you on Arnold’s journey, this aspect of the story telling continues throughout making character and setting recognition seamless. Without hovering over any one part of the story at any given point, he kept all of the content very relevant to the story being told, also another pleasant part of reading his book. All of those points made this a good read for me. There aren’t too many negative points that I want or could even say about this book, but to be fair I will point out a couple of things. The first one being that it started off slow (but I kept reading and I am glad I did-so not really a negative for me, but could be for someone else). Second there were several typographical errors which occurred quite often, which indicated to me that the book either lacks professional editing or could use another go at it. I am rating this book 3 out of 4 stars only because of the typographical errors. To be clear I am not holding the initial pace of the story against Allen Wyler because I absolutely loved the story and intend to read the three books before it. This was the first time I had ever read anything along the lines of a cyber-thriller book, but the summary was intriguing enough for me to go for it! I should also include that I am the type of person who will read just about anything as long as it has a good summary and it can keep me interested past the first few pages. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, suspense, or thriller. I would not recommend this for children to read due to the more than occasional use of profanity.

Holly Wade 1 (OnlineBookClub.org)

Description

In this fourth adventure in the DEADLY ODDS cyberthriller series, reformed hacker Arnold Gold is plunged into a race against time when he’s hired by a prestigious Seattle law firm to resolve a ransomware attack that threatens its very existence. But, from the start, Arnold has ill-defined misgivings about his secretive, control-freak client and suspects he’s being used to cover up an inside job.

But, by who?

And how far would the thief go to stay in the shadows?

The more he investigates, the more Arnold must walk a fine line between preserving his professional reputation and his personal honor. Especially when it becomes clear the thief is willing to move up to murder—and Arnold Gold is in the crosshairs.

“William Gibson meets John Grisham in Allen Wyler’s new thriller featuring cyber-sleuth Arnold Gold who mixes it up with suspect lawyers, hackers and cops in the fittingly gray setting of Seattle. The plot is as fast as a Boeing jet and the tension is as high as the Space Needle.”

–Mark Lindquist, author of The No Back Down Woman

Additional information

Format

Trade Paperback

ISBN

978-1-949267-71-6

Language

English

Pages

326

Publisher

Stairway Press

Release Date

5/4/2021

1000 West Apache Trail, Suite 126 Apache Junction, AZ 85120 stacey@stairwaypress.com