Title: End of Secrets
Author: Ryan Quinn
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 1 December 2014
Though her specialty is foreign cyberterrorism, CIA agent Kera Mersal finds herself plunged into a bizarre domestic case. Singers, writers, and artists are disappearing, leaving no trace in a world where everyone leaves a digital footprint. Posing as a journalist, Kera attempts to track the artists’ last-known movements.
On a hunt that takes her from the underground art scene to a rogue domestic spying program, Kera finds her investigation on a deadly collision course with ONE Corp., the world’s largest multimedia conglomerate. As she’s drawn deeper into the investigation, she discovers that an enigmatic young ad exec, a wealthy playboy, and a mysterious website may connect the missing artists and ONE’s growing power. And with each discovery comes confirmation of a terrifying truth—no one’s secrets are safe.
After reading this book, I almost want to totally disconnect from the internet and never leave my house again. I have no idea how true to life the technology in the book is but it is pretty creepy and terrifying that someone could know where I am at all times of the day just because I use the internet on my phone and I wouldn’t even have a clue.
End of Secrets has been sitting on my to-read list for about five months after I picked it up as a monthly deal on Amazon. The plot sounded interesting but technological thrillers are not my usual cup of tea, so I never got around to actually reading it. However recently I decided to start trying some new genres and I found that I don’t mind technological thrillers so I finally picked up End of Secrets and gave it a long overdue read.
End of Secrets is Ryan Quinn’s first technological mystery that focuses on Kera Mersal, a CIA agent specialising in cyberterrorism who works in the top-secret Hawk program. Despite her expertise in terrorism, Mersal gets dragged into a case where celebrities have started to disappear after staging their own suicide scenes, where the only connection between them all is the cryptic clue: have you figured it out yet?
I was expecting a fast-paced thriller when I started reading the first couple of chapters, but that is not what I got. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but despite that I still found myself getting sucked into the book. Quinn’s writing style is easy to read and his characters are refreshing. I found that I still liked and supported Quinn’s main two characters throughout the book even though they are not necessarily “good” people.
As a mystery, I thought End of Secrets was good but not great. I feel the difference between the two is that a good mystery has a nice little twist at the end that you would have picked whereas a great mystery shocks you because you were entirely certain that the book would end in a certain way and you were completely wrong. This is why I say End of Secrets was a good mystery, but not a great one. I don’t feel the book gave me enough information throughout the first half to actually formulate my own idea of how it would end, so I wasn’t shocked at the end when the twist is revealed even though I would never have predicted it.
My only real problem with the book is that it takes a long time to connect the dots. For the first half of the novel, it felt like I was reading three separate stories that had no connection to each other and it wasn’t until right near the end that it started to feel like one connected story. However having said that, I will definitely give Quinn’s second thriller featuring Kera Mersal, titled The Good Traitor, a read when it comes out in April next year.
Worth a read? If you are interested in the way everyday technology can be used to solve crimes or you just love a good conspiracy mystery novel, then you should definitely give End of Secrets a read.