It’s my stop today on the blog tour for Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank. Many thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this blog tour.
Title: Under the Cloud
Author: B.R. Erlank
Published on: 15 September 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Techno-Thriller
Buy on Amazon
Terry Reynolds is down on his luck. He is penniless, divorced and in a dead-end job. He receives a blackmail letter from The Settlement Bureau. They know what he’s done and are willing to keep their mouth shut if he pays them a certain amount. Terry asks his friend at Facebook to have a look at the company. In return, the friend forwards his resume and gets him a job at BDA – Big Data Analytica.
Katie Blanchard would do anything to support her father, Pastor Jeremiah, the charismatic leader of the mega church – The Church of Holy Redemption. They church also has a couple of institutes for destitute women and young boys. Katie is shocked to hear that her father has invested millions of dollars in technology. Yes, the church uses Big Data to gather information on those who attend the Sunday mass but where is all the money coming from?
Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank is an interesting, suspenseful and engrossing techno-thriller. I was hooked on to the story and could not put it down until the end.
There are three PoVs – Terry and the blackmailers, Katie and her dark past, Danny and his time at the Renaissance Institute. Terry is stuck in a dead-end job and his tenure is coming to an end soon. His friend at Facebook gets him a job at BDA – and Terry is awestruck by the amount of data companies gather from gadgets that people use on a daily basis – social media, emails, and even fitbit!
Katie is a Public relations Officer at her father’s church, The Church of Holy Redemption. The church is well-known for using big data to gather information and help those who need to be shown the path of God. Danny is a teenaged boy who’s currently in Renaissance Institute – run by the church. He learns that something fishy is going on in the church grounds – a data center hidden in the caves. He’s also searching for his father, a notorious fraudster who escaped the authorities and left Danny and his mother to fend for themselves.
It is no secret that social media companies have all the user data readily available. We do not read all terms and conditions before clicking on ‘I Agree’, do we? This book did make me a tad paranoid in the beginning. The amount of data that companies gather from people is humongous. What might seem like junk information to us might not seem the same to a few organizations.
As the story proceeds, we see the three PoV characters try their best to unearth the secret – huge data center and data gathering, fraud and data abuse, and a conspiracy. I cannot choose a favorite character as all three added a different perspective to the story. The second half is where things get suspenseful. The ending was simply superb.
The only niggle I had with the story was, I wish the data abuse was explored in detail in the second half of the book. The conspiracy was a shocking and unexpected development and brought about a dash of curiosity as to what might happen next. But I was expecting some more (gory) details on the tracking of gadgets and blackmail.
Overall, this was an excellent read. If you are looking for an engrossing techno-thriller, I recommend you to give Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank a try.
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