The plot of Shadowed was not quite so full of holes as Hidden, the first in Karen E. Olson’s series, however it seems a transitional novel, incomplete without what I presume will be the third and final novel in a trilogy featuring middle-aged hacker Nicole/Amelie/Helene/Susan/etc., the former Tina Adler, a fugitive hiding from both the FBI and an evil mob boss bent on revenge.

We find Susan, as she is now known, in Canada living on an island, natch. She supporting herself with her paintings, has a few friends, but is purposely holding back, knowing she may soon have to leave again. That happens sooner than she expects when someone hacks the hacker and with a retail RAT – a bit of code people can buy to remotely access other’s computer. It’s used to hijack and ransom computers, but in her case, it’s used to send a threat that her friends back on Block Island will be harmed if she does not pay a ransom, a ransom that requires her to hack and steal $1million.

Complicating matters, a friend’s new boyfriend is suspicious of her and he turns out to be a retired police detective. He is extraordinarily successful at tracking her – without her ever thinking that she might be carrying some tracking device on her person or her computer. It’s a blind spot that is unworthy of such a resourceful protagonist.

2pawsThis second of the trilogy was disappointing. Sure, the plot was tighter in many ways, but the big reveal at the end was obvious about half-way through. Also, she totally would have figured out there was a tracking device and dealt with it. The behavior of the FBI and her ease in slipping away, well, that was just silly. However, dang it, now I want to read part three, because that is all book two did. It set us up for book three.

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