The Switch

The Switch

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
15
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"Michael Tanner is on his way home from a business trip when he accidentally picks up the wrong MacBook in an airport security line. He doesn't notice the mix-up until he arrives home in Boston, but by then it's too late. Tanner's curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers that the owner is a US senator and that the laptop contains top secret files. When Senator Susan Robbins realizes she's come back with the wrong laptop, she calls her young chief of staff, Will Abbott, in a panic. Both know that the senator broke the law by uploading classified documents onto her personal computer. If those documents wind up in the wrong hands, it could be Snowden 2.0--and her career in politics will be over. She needs to recover the MacBook before it's too late. When Will fails to gain Tanner's cooperation, he is forced to take measures to retrieve the laptop before a bigger security breach is revealed. He turns to an unscrupulous "fixer" for help. In the meantime, the security agency whose files the senator has appropriated has its own methods, darker still--and suddenly Tanner finds himself a hunted man, on the run, terrified for the safety of his family, in desperate need of a plan, and able to trust no one."--
Publisher: New York, New York :, Dutton,, [2017]
ISBN: 9781101985786
Branch Call Number: FICTION FIN
Characteristics: 373 pages ; 24 cm

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DOMESTICAT Oct 18, 2017

I'm a fan of the author but this book lost me immediately. Who writes their laptop computer password on a sticky note and then puts the sticky note on the underside of the laptop ? Especially someone with access to state secrets...I just couldn't continue.

m
McAnnieG
Oct 17, 2017

Exciting and with so many twists that I read it in a day!

Racing from security screening to make his flight, Michael Tanner grabs his laptop only to later discover it isn't his! Password protected it should cause an issue in trying to contact the actual owner but when the password is taped to the bottom of the device Tanner decides to open the files. Tanner finds himself in a race to stay alive once some scary people discover he's got the laptop.

I loved the story. I struggled with the premise that a US Senator would be subjected to regular airport security screening searches. Once I decided to let that go, and enjoy the story it was a really great ride.

b
BobConnex
Sep 09, 2017

Interesting premise and a NYT bestselling author, so maybe worth a read. But it wasn't. The protagonist has a strained marriage, a challenged business, and financial problems, yet he spends all his time and focus on a Senator's mislaid laptop with a password stuck to the bottom. On page 180 he asks, "What if I just give back the laptop?" Exactly! This guy is a naive coffee roaster up against shadowy figures chasing him, the Senate Security office, the NSA (who finally gives him the tough-guy talk on p. 226), and he's not even concerned about his own laptop switched at the airport. Plot, motivation, murdered friend, business issues, chases and conversations, even the guy's personality (lots of "It will be fine") --all strain plausibility. The story drags on for two weeks--and so does this book. Find another.

c
capitalcity
Aug 09, 2017

A shallow, escapist excursion into the seedy realm of government, populated by self-aggrandizing, delusional, power seeking politicians, and colluding, insecure apparatchiks, mutually exploiting the enterprise. Wryly noteworthy in The Switch, the US senator whose solution to forgetting computer passwords is to write 'em down on a Post-It and attach it underneath a laptop. With such Einsteinian caliber acumen, who better to make decisions on state security. No doubt an individual earmarked for the White House. Note also plot wise, if you're wedded to debit cards, credit cards, ATMs, smartphones, or other networked pay systems, chances of engineering one's dropping off the radar screen is zero. Only cash offers anonymity and liberty. What's in your pocket?

DSGCPL Aug 05, 2017

The plot was a little hard to keep up with, but this was a great book. There was a little too much switching back and forth between character's points of view.

This is one of my favorite authors, his books are always very suspenseful and highly engaging.

e
Eil_1
Aug 04, 2017

Not one of his best. Nevertheless, it was fast-paced: Turner vs. Will & the government. A bit too much filler that did nothing for the plot. It was a good book; however, I wouldn't give it a "must read" rating.

0
0007548100dmw
Jul 29, 2017

Good book. Was a bit of a drag in places but, overall another good book by Finder. Very good story.

katbee Jul 19, 2017

This was a fast paced thriller with good twists. I liked the characters Joseph Finder created and learning about the coffee business. It's crazy how a simple mistake and initial miscommunication could escalate so far. If you like political thrillers where the hero is just a regular guy, this book is for you. I listened to the audio version and the narrator did a good job.

u
USAF1969
Jul 17, 2017

I see the June ratings for Joseph Finder's THE SWITCH were all high while the July ratings are much lower. Hmmm.............. So I will buck the trend. I really liked the book, I liked the plot, and I liked the character development (except I will admit that Will Abbott's issues with the crying baby were superfluous). I think the political world can be/is a cesspool of bad behavior and I didn't have any problem with Finder exploring that issue, or with raising the issues related to privacy (or lack thereof) that we face today. I'll be looking for Finder's next book. Enjoy this one in the meantime.

s
StarGladiator
Jul 15, 2017

The characters throughout this book, the main character and his bud, state that the US government doesn't kill anybody, certainly not Americans?!?!?!?
We are supposed to believe everyone grew up in a cave in this book?!?!?!?
The author has one character saying . . .
// That's like, I don't know, something out of the Jason Bourne movies. \\
Huuuuh?!??! The trilogy, written by a talented script writer as those goshawful Ludlum novels were poor and nothing connected to those movies, was based upon real-life CIA activities and their MK ULTRA program. [Robert Ludlum's relative, John Ludlum, was with the CIA, but evidently not a conduit to Robert - - although once, Robert Ludlum claimed that he had been given a tip that Carlos the Jackal was behind the JFK assassination - - pretty damned good as Carlos had just turned 3 years of age at the time, although Carlos was never a sniper nor assassin of any repute - - he would toss in explosives or hand grenades into public restaurants, et cetera!]
If you get tired of this rather pedestrian book - - might have been interesting had it been written well before Hitchcock's movie, North By Northwest - - be sure to read pp. 315 to 318 as a quick review, although far real reads would be No Place to Hide, by Robert O'Harrow, published back in 2005, and also by the same title, No Place to Hide, by Glenn Greenwald.
Pretty submediocre writing by an author who is a former member of the US intelligence establishment?

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