Remote Access

Remote Access

An International Political Thriller
March 25, 2018
GenrePolitical, Suspense, Thriller
Audience Adult
Format Book Length Manuscript
Type Reality Based
Word Count 80-100k (average)

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Edited by Kip Kirby
Cover design by Damonza
Published Through Amazon Createspace – KDP
Marketed by Genius Media Inc
Distributed by IngramSpark


Reviewed on October 29, 2018


Review by Sandra Ruttan

The Rundown

Remote Access is billed as an international political thriller, and it delivers on that promise. National politics shape the motives and actions of many key characters in both China and the United States. International politics also guide their decisions. Since the book centers on the U.S. president’s plans to impose tariffs on China, it has a ripped-from-the-headline feel. Know yourself and be forwarned. If a ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller is right up your alley this may be the book for you. If you’d rather turn the news off and take a break from politics then you may find this book a little too real to fully appreciate. 


The Recommendation

In addition to being labeled as an international political thriller, Remote Access is also the third installment of Marcie Kane books. I haven’t read the other titles so I can’t say how they compare. While Marcie has the potential of offering readers some sense of continuity and a clear character to believe in and cheer for,  her fiance does more of the heavy lifting by using his FBI connections. Marcie’s involvement is a bit of a coincidence. She just happens to meet Annie, the wife of the president’s chief of staff, and a small gesture of kindness turns her into the only person Annie calls when she has a problem.

When I first read about the premise of this book several months ago I was intrigued. I like a good political thriller. Had I read the book then, I probably would have enjoyed it far more than I did, and what I have to say about my reasons for not enjoying it has less to do with the writing and execution and more to do with current events. The president (Hughes) is based largely on the current American president.
“For some reason, Hughes seemed to have a fundamental need to be recognized as the most qualified leader of the free world ever to hold the presidency, although his poll numbers were headed in the opposite direction …
“… there were accompanying notes provided for Hughes to look over. Logan sighed inwardly. The president wasn’t going to read them. He wanted the short, simplified version, and he wanted a summary of valid points so he could approve or disapprove.”
Descriptions like this sounded awfully familiar, and the contempt shown by Hughes for experienced advisors and personal motivations that guided his actions – as well as the reckless disregard for the potential fallout – felt equally ripped from the headlines. When the creative choice to clearly model a character after a real person injects a sense of realism and plausibility into a story it can pay off.
Unfortunately for me, it had the opposite effect. While a book review should be about the characters,  the believability, the level of interest developed in the story and such, I realized early on that I could not be objective with this book. Sometimes,  when one thing is bugging you it clouds the entire read. I can’t fault the author for that. What I can say is that I’ll do my best to explain it politely for those who care to understand.
Ultimately, you know yourself as a reader and you know how you feel about the current state of world affairs. I have always been a news junkie and I studied journalism. I grew up in a house where the evening news was on while we ate dinner. However, lately I’ve been turning the news off and avoiding specific topics. Over the past year I’ve been watching more and more comedies. This read that still appealed several months ago had a hard time in light of more recent develooments, and I felt exhausted returning to it after breaks from reading. And I can’t say it is the fault of the writer. When one thing is bothering you about a book, often you can get nitpicky and be hypercritical, so its harder to say if any possible issues are valid. I was looking at the whole work through shattered glasses,  as it were,  and all I could see where jagged lines.
For me,  in the midst of the Supreme Court debacle,  the tone deaf response of a president who publicly mocked a victim of sexual assault and the political posturing of the president’s party, I couldn’t possibly care less about any threats to a fictionalized version and my personal disgust at the current state of American politics extended to the fictional president’s staff,  also. You know his motives as bad? You know he isn’t making good,  informed choices? But you stay and support that. Pffft. I had a hard time getting invested in some of the characters, and I 100% own the fact that this was more about me and how I’m feeling these days than anything else, and it isn’t fair to judge a book based on that.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s been a tiring few weeks politically and for me, it was the absolute wrong time to read something political. Your mileage may vary. And this could easily become a book people look back on in a few years as they try to understand how things have changed in recent years.
Know yourself and be forwarned. If a ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller is right up your alley this may be the book for you. If you’d rather turn the news off and take a break from politics then you may find this book a little too real to fully appreciate.

The Rating Reviewer Rating: 3.5 Stars

3.5 Stars (out of 5): Pretty good. For the right audience, this could be great. Sure, there were some issues, but it was still worth the read.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Page Turner, Plot

Author’s Summary

Annie Logan, the wife of the chief of staff to the President of the United States, is spending another lonely night with too much wine and social media in their home in Tampa, Florida when someone takes control of her computer. A message from a foreign country appears telling her that her husband must stop the president from signing an impending executive order or face far-reaching and deadly consequences.

Annie enlists the help of new friends Marcie Kane and Nathan Harris, a consultant for the FBI, to help convince her skeptical husband that the threats are real. As the threats escalate, the impulsive president is determined not to listen to anyone, especially the hacker. The hacker is equally determined not to fail and risk damage to his reputation. Marcie and Nathan find themselves directly in the middle of a winner-take-all cat and mouse game where the stakes include the life of the President of the United States.

Remote Access will satisfy readers who have even a casual interest in tonight’s news and a love of page-turning suspense

Short Description

The president of the United States is imposing crippling tariffs on China. A computer hacker hired by the furious Chinese regime is determined to stop it, but the president is not listening to anyone, and especially a hacker. The stakes include national security and the life of the president.

Catchphrase

Political thriller with page-turning suspense.

Additional Links

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