As the writer of a suspense novel, I love reading what others are writing in the genre. Recently, I read ‘Dead Beef’ by Eduardo Suastegui, which I highly recommend.
On his website, you’ll see he has 20 or so books in 3 series. ‘Dead Beef’ is from his Cyber World Series. I originally picked up this book from Amazon (DEAD BEEF (Our Cyber World Book 1)) to help with research on the dark web for my novel, ‘Buried Ladies‘. I really enjoyed reading it and would give it 5 stars.
According to Eduardo:
I love to write character-driven, swift-flowing suspense-thriller stories that explore our world and examine the human condition. You can check out my work through my blog, where I share story samples, announce upcoming releases, and once in a while wax philosophical.
‘Dead Beef’ features Martin Spencer, a talented hacker who was just fired by the company he founded (sounds pretty familiar — this is what happened to Steve Jobs). He returns home, where he signs papers and leaves his wife, Cynthia, with everything, except his love.
This starts a chain reaction that nearly destroys the US and possibly the rest of the world.
You see, Martin worked for the government, along with his true love, Sasha. They were a successful team until something went wrong with an insertion in the Middle East. Then, the relationship between Martin and Sasha (of Persian lineage) becomes a liability and they were split up. Martin went on the start Infostream and married Cynthia. What ensues is a first-rate suspense as Martin and Sasha attempt to stop a plot hatched by some Mid-East terrorists who found the inserted package and modified it to deadly consequences. Blacking out the entire East Coast of the US was just a warm-up for what follows.
Why I recommend ‘Dead Beef’?
First, the characters are wonderfully fleshed out and real. And, the action never stops, just as you’d expect from a suspense novel. The backdrop for the action is beautiful country, which is richly described by the author.
Next, I like technically-based novels as a tech geek (my day job is as a marketing CMO for tech startups), but I’m not a hacker (or even a full-stack coder). But you don’t have to be to enjoy the novel. While based on some pretty technical details and high-level hacking, you never feel overwhelmed by the tech. The novel doesn’t get bogged down in the gory details; just tells you what they did not how they did it. I like that.
Finally, you get emotionally involved with the plot and characters. For me, this is the highest compliment for an author — to make you feel something.
How to improve the narrative?
While I really enjoyed reading ‘Dead Beef’, I did find some aspects were a little hard to swallow. I think realism is important and a plot should be believable. Sometimes characters did things that didn’t seem to fit.
For instance, Cynthia follows Martin to the wilderness where he’s working with Sasha to foil some terror plots. As the jilted wife, it just didn’t seem plausible to me that she would risk her life to save Martin and especially Sasha.
Next, the calvary swooped in to save the day. Great story line because, otherwise, the hero and heroine were painted into a corner and couldn’t emerge alive. The plot just didn’t ring true on this point.
Overall, I find this a great read and recommend you give it a whorl.
I also hope you’ll help as I finish ‘Buried Ladies’, a suspense novel where a 911 call starts a series of events crossing the country and international boundaries in an effort to save Estella. Most of the action takes place in the Rio Grande Valley on both sides of the Mexican border where the Gulf Cartel kidnapped Estella to force her husband to do their bidding.
Also, if you’d like to sponsor the book on Kickstarter, I have some great rewards starting at just $1 in sponsorship.