Digital Circumstances – BRM Stewart
‘Martin McGregor left school in Glasgow with nothing but a talent for working with computers. He built up a successful business, installing hardware and software for companies and individuals. He was settled in a loving relationship.
But Martin’s company steals theirs and their clients’ data, all of it: account details, credit card numbers, identities – and sells them on to international cyber-criminals.
Martin never meant this to happen: it was all from circumstances all through his life, starting with a gangster’s money which gave him what he thought was his first lucky break.
Now he is trying to get clear, but his attempts attract the attentions of police and gangsters from three countries, and some people die. His partner knows something is going on, and she once told him never to lie to her.
And in New York, FBI agent Mark Grosvenor is on his trail’.
I downloaded Digital Circumstances to my Kindle on the recommendation of my Sister-in-Law. She and I share quite similar tastes in books and if she is praising a story I will tend to pay attention…except for Dan Brown books, there will always be something on top of the TBR pile before another Dan Brown novel.
So working only on a recommendation and the five paragraph blurb from the book description I launched into Digital Circumstances, the first novel by BRM Stewart. Loved it! Loved it! Loved It!
The central character (Martin McGregor) is a tech-head and as his story develops you also see the evolution of computers and how they evolved into our lives – a nice touch here and I suspect that McGregor is around the same age as I am given the computers he owned at the outset of the book! More worrying was the ease with which the gangsters, who also feature heavily in the story, quickly adapted to the technological developments and profited from our lack of understanding.
I found McGregor’s character was really well developed and I wanted him to come through the tale unscathed. There are some ‘Thrillers’ I can finish and not even remember the central character’s name much less care what happens to them during the course of a book. The supporting characters were well realised and as they came and went from McGregor’s life there were times I felt genuine regret for what had happened to them or anger towards how they were behaving.
Another bonus was that Digital Circumstances is mainly set in Glasgow, a city I studied in and where I got my first job. I always feel that when I am reading about a place I know well it becomes much easier to become engaged in a story. As the story also features Portugal, America and Eastern Europe there was a real feeling of the scale to the book: it highlighted the extent of the reach of the criminal underworld and the even longer reach of the authorities chasing them down.
The story played out well and kept me gripped, one of the books that I did not want to end. A cracking debut novel and I was delighted to hear Mr Stewart is writing his next book. I strongly recommend that you grab a copy of Digital Circumstances.