Book Review: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

Book Review: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

Title: Digital Fortress

Author: Dan Brown

Publication: 1998

Genre: Mystery, Techno-Thriller

Language: English

Main Characters: Susan Fletcher, David Becker, David Becker, Trevor Strathmore

Narrator: Multiple Third Person omniscient Narrator

Theme:  National Security Vs Individual’s Right to Privacy

 

Book Summary: Digital Fortress

 

When the National Security Agency’s invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician.

What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage… not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence.

Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Susan Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.

Characters: Digital Fortress

Susan Fletcher – The NSA’s Head Cryptographer, and the story’s lead character

David Becker – A Professor of Modern Languages and the fiancé of Susan Fletcher

Ensei Tankado -The author of Digital Fortress and a disgruntled former NSA employee.

Commander Trevor Strathmore – NSA Deputy Director of Operations

Phil Chartrukian – Sys-Sec Technician

Greg Hale – NSA Cryptographer

Leland Fontaine – Director of NSA

Hulohot – an assassin hired by North Dakota to locate the Passkey

Midge Milken – Fontaine’s internal security analyst

Chad Brinkerhoff – Fontaine’s personal assistant

“Jabba” – NSA’s senior System Security Officer

Soshi Kuta – Jabba’s head technician and assistant

Tokugen Numataka – Japanese Executive attempting to purchase Digital Fortress.

 

Book Review: Digital Fortress

Digital Fortress explores the theme of government surveillance of electronically stored information on the private lives of citizens, and the possible civil liberties and ethical implications of using such technology.

What would happen if every nation and person in the world, with a computer, could access every top secret file of the government? This is what Susan Fletcher and David Becker have to prevent in Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. With a lot of action and suspense Digital Fortress is a book for anyone who likes action.

Dan Brown wrote many other action novels. I have read all of them and this novel is just as good of a read as the rest. This novel is written in the same style as all the others. Leaving in the suspense in all his books, Dan Brown makes all his novels an exiting read.

“Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.”

The United States government has just bought a huge computer that can unscramble any code called TRANSLTR. A top secret government agency called National Security Agency, NSA, has purchased this computer to prevent terrorist from sending coded messages to other terrorist inside or out of the United States. Thinking the people of the US may consider TRANSLTR a breech of privacy, the government never told any one about the device.

Susan Fletcher is the head Cryptographer at the NSA Crypto facility. David Becker is a foreign-language specialist Georgetown University. Commander Greg Strathmore is in charge of the facility. There also are three other Cryptographers and many engineers who work on TRANSLTR in the facility.

Susan Fletcher head Cryptographer notices a code that TRANSLTR has been working on for Eighteen hours, and most files take less than one hour. A few days latter a strange address sends them an email. Sending the email, let the NSA figure up a way to shut down Digital Fortress. The virus that will shut down TRANSLTER and expose the main government data bank to any one with Internet access. Exposing the data bank, will put the nation at risk of attack and total chaos of the citizens.

“Force a hand, and it will fight you. But convince and mind to think as you want it to think, an you have an ally”

The NSA sends in David Becker to receive the ring that has the code to shut down Digital Fortress. In the mean time, Susan Fletcher is trying to convince the head boss of the whole operation that there is a problem. David is nearly shot to death, and Susan is nearly blown to bits. Will the two succeed?

Digital Fortress is a pretty fast-paced novel with lots of action on both fronts. As usual with a Dan Brown novel, things get a bit unbelievable at times, but that’s part of what makes them fun. He has created an interesting cast of characters and circumstances that really keep the storyline moving along at his usual break-neck pace.


 

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