Rating: 4+ stars
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Some of my favorite new-to-me authors were recommended on social media by other authors or readers. That is the case with The Phisher King. The authors are new to me and the timing for Phisher King was perfect as the sequel or book 2 is scheduled to be released very soon.
Hunter is a college student, hacker, who subsists on Adderall and pot. He is a senior and almost done. Without too much detail we know that he is on his own and hasn’t had it easy. In the course of his gray hat/black hat hacking activities, he comes upon a plot by an American terrorist group to blow up the Pride events. Hunter is supporting himself with his internet work and he is involved in too many dubious activities to openly report his findings to the authorities so he used proxy servers and VPN switches to maintain anonymity. Thank God they can’t find him
Until there was a knock on his door and the FBI, represented by straight-arrow Agent Callum Riggs, wants to know what he knows about the domestic terrorist plans.
In the beginning, we see Hunter with his pink hair and leather attire, as a punk, without too many redeeming qualities. He was coasting along until the discovery and despite his not-quite-legal activities, he was compelled to protect Pride. Hunter has absolutely nothing in common with this FBI agent Callum, who is a no-nonsense, older man, quiet and bound by routine.
From the beginning, we come to understand that there is much more to each man than first appearances. The suspense of identifying the domestic terrorists, protecting Hunter, his friends and family seem to be more than Cal can handle at times. He has competing drives, to protect Hunter, to find the bad guys and to protect his quiet professional lifestyle with its routines. Hunter is a little more difficult to understand. He is shunned by his family, because of his own bad behaviors, as he tells it but the reader is left wondering if there is more to the story.
I enjoyed the static that seemed to arc between the two main characters and the suspense in the main storyline as well as the subplots, some of which were not entirely resolved within the context of the story. I especially appreciated the snark and development of personalities and relationships.
Riggs “Good together is one way of putting it, but I can’t imagine going back to my life like it was before you came into it.”
“You say things like that to me… It’s like feeding a stray cat, man.” Tears welled in Hunter’s eyes. It was all too much. Today was too much. He wasn’t used to this feeling or feeling much of anything but anger and frustration.
Perhaps Cal wasn’t as perfect as he seemed and maybe Hunter was more than the pink-haired punk.
In his nightly ritual of trolling dude-bros online, college student and hacker Hunter Walsh uncovers a terrorist plot to bomb Seattle Pride. When his digging hits a wall, he anonymously surrenders his findings to the FBI—only to discover he didn’t cover his tracks as well as he’d thought. Agent Callum Riggs shows up on his doorstep with an ultimatum: Help the FBI find the culprits or face jail time for his hacking. Hunter hates and mistrusts the Fed, but he has no other choice.
Straight-arrow Cal has better things to do than babysit a pink-haired criminal—even if Hunter is everything Cal wants and has never let himself have—but he can’t ignore the lethal threat Liberty Association poses to their community. When the Bureau refuses to allocate more resources to the case, Cal is forced into a devil’s bargain, not only tolerating Hunter’s rebellious behavior in exchange for his help but serving as Hunter’s personal bodyguard 24/7.
Will these total opposites work together to foil a deadly plot? Or will their constant bickering and seething sexual tension endanger everything both men hold dear? And if they do succeed, can enemies become lovers, or will their differences keep them apart?
4 Top pick
3 Compelling page-turner
1. Oh so Vanilla
3. Passion and Romance
4. Toe-curling yumminess
November 6, 2018