A Chechen assassin fulfills a contract on a cyber-security software executive, while on the opposite side of the world, a North Korean cyber-warfare expert is recruited to work with a team of Chinese students being paid to hack into the data bases of major corporations by a mysterious Russian-American billionaire. Oddly, when the attack occurs, no real damage is done except to the stock market. Subsequently, there are a series of mischievous hacking incidents against Chinese government websites that intend to embarrass the regime. As all this is transpiring, North Korea is plotting to turn upcoming war games into the real thing.
Virtual Conflict is a multilayer, complex and intriguing story with loads of action. Terence Flyntz’ technical knowledge of his subject is vast, and the turns and surprises never stop coming. Unfortunately the prose is a little stiff and repetitive in places. This is a story that is more told than shown, plus the dialogue is often multiple paragraph soliloquies that don’t sound like normal conversations. I rate this tale at five stars for content but only three for execution. Nevertheless, the plot is in league with The Hunt for Red October and I did enjoy reading it.