"Just finished this great book, couldn’t put it down. Obviously written by a professional in the computer field with considerable travel knowledge. Really enjoyed the whole scene from this new author. Look forward to his next one."
"A very well crafted story. The topic is right in the moment and anyone who worries about data will worry even more now. Great pace with good characters with personalities that are consistent throughout the journey - overall a brilliant first book!"
‘Gatekeeper’ is the first novel by Mike Smart involving hacking into global computer systems with catastrophic consequences. His latest book ‘The Platinum Solution’ considers the very real scenario in South Africa where less than scrupulous people choose to exploit a potential power vacuum caused by the death of Mandela.
Mike’s books have been favorably compared with those of Ian Fleming and Dan Brown, though in the case of the latter Mike states he is far shorter on the descriptive prose element. Their purpose is to entertain a range of readers as well as inform. Mike’s writing focuses on revealing background themes which relate to real world issues that we all, as his readers, face every day. His books are exciting, fast moving compact thrillers; readers say his books are incredibly hard to put down. A former officer in the Special Boat Service, ‘Max Thatcher’ is the lead character followed in the series.
The themes of computer hacking in Gatekeeper are described as a very real and relatively easy thing to do as the security services around the world will continue to vehemently deny. It is no surprise that Mike manages to capture the drama and consequences of these issues so realistically for the novel is inspired by his thirty years of experience in the industry. He says he has seen various horror stories in this time, and just linked up the elements.
Mike’s awareness of the problems involved with computer security inspired the creation of Gatekeeper. This comes from his perspective of the security problems; the public has no idea how exposed their data is in truth. People will accept the ‘terms and conditions’ and cookies online without even a second thought. Also, programmers almost always leave an open ‘back door’ into big systems (Mike says it’s a way of making sure they get paid). Artificial intelligence code exists, and it is so new that people cannot predict how it will behave. In an inter-connected world, spreading a virus from one machine to the next is easy: especially if you have control of the software that is supposedly protecting you. This concept is Mike’s true inspiration. His description of computer hacking and the worrying growth and extent of it is all based on facts. As well, there are minimal controls on employees selling access to third parties.
Gatekeeper is a fast moving story. You will find it to be short
on flowery prose but long on high octane action. Feel free to read it by the pool, before you drift off to sleep at night or, if you want to risk it; on an airplane. The imaginative and gripping concept of the novel comes from Mike’s inspiration; to make sure people understand the vulnerability of computer systems, a topic that many of us might be oblivious to. Mike says it’s all about making sure that private data is not accessed and then turned against the individual or used to create fraudulent transactions. Gatekeeper as a book and concept would be very easy to make a reality and it’s concerning that people just do not understand this basic fact.