The Quantum Spy

The Quantum Spy

Mysterious Book Report No. 319

by John Dwaine McKenna

It’s indisputable that the next war will be fought in cyberspace.  Some scientific and military experts believe in fact, that World War III has already begun . . . that the opening skirmishes are evidenced by the endless hacking attempts on the most secure of websites . . . where our adversaries are going after America’s commercial, financial, governmental, scientific and military secrets in hopes of besting the United States by destroying the economy and infrastructure.  By doing so, the enemies of America could defeat her without firing a shot.  Because of this, the race is on to build ever more powerful and faster computing machines.  And the fastest, most powerful of all is a computer based on quantum mechanics . . . something so outlandish that when he discovered it, Albert Einstein himself was baffled, and thought he’d made a mistake somewhere in his equations.  He was in fact, never able to find the mistake, which predicted that something could exist in two different places at the same time.  But in fact, they can.  They’re only able to do so for a fraction of a second however, and there’s the rub.  They’re unstable.  But they’re the basis of the fastest computers ever dreamed of, and all of the advanced countries in the world are racing to develop the first quantum computer . . . which would give the owners of that technology the absolute ability to take over every other computer in the world.  It’s the subject of a pulse pounding new thriller entitled The Quantum Spy, (Norton, $25.95, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0-393-25415-0) by David Ignatius, in which the United States has achieved a breakthrough in quantum computing that will allow them to dominate the field for the foreseeable future.  Unfortunately however, the technical details wind up in the hands of the Chinese Ministry of State Security less than 48 hours later because there’s a spy—known as a mole—embedded deep in the American Secret Services.  It’s up to a CIA officer named Harris Chang to catch the traitor.  Thus begins the gripping cyber-thriller which goes from the city of Singapore, to the Pacific Northwest, to the mountains of Mexico and beyond.   The investigation is intense, obsessive, destructive and ultimately uncertain, due to the leaks exposing our deepest secrets . . . or are they false trails to deceive the Chinese?  Chang, a west Point graduate and decorated combat veteran, will begin to question everything he knows about honor, duty, and country, as well as his heritage, loyalty, morality, and ultimately, the truth.  This novel is a sophisticated and up-to-date look at contemporary spying and the consequences of the cutting edges of science.  It is a nail-biter of the highest order.  If you, like me, love spy novels, don’t miss this one . . . it’s absolutely positively one of the best and most current espionage tales since Barry Lancet wrote The Spy Across the Table!

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