S. Andrew Swann
Zimmerman's Algorithm (2000)
Reviewed: 2003-07-20

As if employing three different pen names wasn't enough, Steven Swiniarski continues to confuse his readers by publishing this techno-thriller under his science fiction moniker.

If you have read any of Swann's Moreau novels you know the formula. Gideon Malcolm is a detective for the Washington D.C. police department. When a supercomputer is stolen in a case of violent robbery, Gideon receives a tip-off and investigates with the only person from the FBI willing to listen to him, his brother. Things go terribly wrong and Gideon now has a very personal reason to uncover the background of the crime, revealing a conspiracy of ever more staggering proportions that involves the highest levels of the United States government. Gideon is drawn into a deadly morass of government black ops, domestic and foreign spook agencies, international terrorism, and the hunt for a brilliant scientist.

Exchanging his usual SFnal trappings for a contemporary setting, Swann has delivered another capable thriller. As the title suggests, computers turn out to be at the core of the story. Swann is mercifully short on technical details, but the final scenario is implausible, to say the least.

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