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Bounty: A Novel by Michael Byrnes
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Bounty: A Novel

by Michael Byrnes

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Bounty was a very interesting book. The ultimate hacking tool, designed and put together by the best and the brightest. Only to be stolen at the end and used for a different purpose. It started with a website BountyForJustice, which allowed people to vote on a suspected criminals guilt or innocence, for a small fee. The website had a place to upload evidence to the alleged crimes for everyone to use in their vote. When someone was declared guilty, a bounty (from the fees) would be awarded to whomever provided video documentation of justice served. (Generally death).

While it might sound like a good idea to serve vigilante justice to those big name people who get away with terrible crimes because of their money, power and influence, it can very easily get out of hand. Innocent people could have circumstantial evidence that might get them voted guilty. Or worse innocent bystanders when the guilty person is taken out. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are a huge incentive for many people to try their hand at claiming a bounty.

Interesting premise and a great read on what could happen if Justice was left to public sentiment. ( )
  readafew | Nov 26, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Cyber-crime holds a place in our current news, so the theme of Bounty is timely. Some one, some how, is using the Internet to put a bounty on the heads of criminals nominated and convicted by the masses. If the legal system does not deal with them vigilantes will. Who has the expertise to create and successfully hide the infrastructure required to pull off public assassinations? Does the FBI and the NSA have the technical ability to take them on and win? Michael Byrnes novel is well written, engaging, and believable. The ending may take you by surprise, but it is perfectly plausible given the story and that makes all the difference between enjoying a book and feeling let down by a contrived conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will look for novels by Byrnes in the future. ( )
  bill | Sep 6, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A well written story. A vigilante has taken over the web. What was not thought possible begins to happen. All those who escaped justice now have a bounty on them.
Agent Novak is tasked with putting together a team to find out who is behind bounty4justice and take them down. Could our own government be behind this?
The story is not too technical that you will be able to understand what is going on. I hope the author comes out with a sequel as there are some questions the remain unanswered. This is one you cannot miss. ( )
  therealjim | Aug 21, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A thriller in the vein of Suarez (_Daemon_ and _Freedom(tm)_) and Wilson (Robopacalypse), Byrnes has written an entertaining thriller that weaves together threads from the Anonymous hacking collectives, capabilities revealed in the Snowden leaks, and concerns over the use of cyber capabilities for terrorism. ( )
  JLHeim | Aug 15, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Great book. Thanks so much to LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program for "gifting" it to me.

Bounty is about a crowdfunding website that allows people to vote on whether certain people around the world receive "justice." If a person is deemed guilty by the masses, a bounty is created for that person. Whoever provides video proof of that person's death receives said bounty.

We follow FBI cyber agents as they work through the fiendishly built website that can (and does) take down a country's networked infrastructure. The cast of characters was nicely varied and the dialogue was quite good. I do think there was a bit too much techno jargon that went unexplained (or not explained well enough) that sometimes muddled the story a bit. This is something Michael Crichton always did so well—he had an "ignorant" character who needed the jargon explained to him. This book could have used one of those characters.

But that's a relatively minor negative; overall the book is a great (and somewhat scary) escape! ( )
  Jarratt | Aug 14, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804178348, Hardcover)

Relentlessly suspenseful and disturbingly timely, Bounty summons a chilling vision of our Internet culture gone mad, where freedom, privacy, and the rule of law are demolished by a crisis of nightmare proportions—and the future of justice lies in the hands not of the bravest but the most brutal.
 
When a notorious Wall Street vulture is executed in his high-rise office by a sniper’s bullet, it’s the kill shot heard around the world. Welcome to Bounty4Justice.com, a rogue website for vigilante assassins, where outraged citizens bid up bounties on corporate crooks and corrupt elites. As the number of targets soars, amateur bounty hunters and professional hit men compete to exterminate the condemned, “proof-of-death” videos become Internet sensations, and the self-styled Robin Hood pulling the strings threatens to plunge the international community into anarchy.
 
Along with other law enforcement agencies across the globe, the FBI and its agents on the case—led by Roman Novak and Rosemary Michaels—are desperately seeking a way to outmaneuver and overpower an all-but-invisible adversary with millions of dollars at its disposal and the ability to cripple the most sophisticated attackers with a keystroke. Following a black-hat hacker extraordinaire down a rabbit hole of firewalls, encryption, and unbreakable codes leads Novak and Michaels into the virtual underworld of the darknet—a seemingly impenetrable haven for the illicit and illegal where Bounty4Justice’s mastermind is almost certainly hiding. But just when the agents think they are close to breaching their quarry’s digital fortress, they find themselves stalked by an army of cyber outlaws out for blood.

Advance praise for Bounty
 
“[Michael] Byrnes fuses science fiction and espionage in this smart, near-futuristic dystopic thriller. . . . The action-packed story line is full of plot twists and explores such topical matters as cyberterrorism and hacktivism. Byrnes raises some serious questions about humankind’s increasing dependence on—and assimilation with—the digital world.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Vigilantism goes viral in this thriller about a website that pays bounties for the killing of unpunished child abusers, financial scammers, human rights violators, and other bad actors. . . . Charles Bronson’s Death Wish meets the Internet.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“This is a grand-scale spin on the vigilante story. . . . Byrnes’s vigilante offers a twist on the theme: he’s mastered cyberspace to the point where he can outsource some of his to-do list, offering a cash reward on his website to anyone who will kill the crooked banker . . . and the weasel who bilked Medicare for $127 million. And he’s just getting started.”Booklist

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 06 Jun 2016 19:12:03 -0400)

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