Red Team Blues

, #1

224 pages

English language

Published Feb. 8, 2023 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom.

ISBN:
978-1-250-86584-7
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4 stars (50 reviews)

Martin Hench is 67 years old, single, and successful in a career stretching back to the beginnings of Silicon Valley. He lives and roams California in a very comfortable fully-furnished touring bus, The Unsalted Hash, that he bought years ago from a fading rock star. He knows his way around good food and fine drink. He likes intelligent women, and they like him back often enough.

Martin is a―contain your excitement―self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He knows computer hardware and software alike, including the ins and outs of high-end databases and the kinds of spreadsheets that are designed to conceal rather than reveal. He’s as comfortable with social media as people a quarter his age, and he’s a world-level expert on the kind of international money-laundering and shell-company chicanery used by …

8 editions

Worth the read for the plot

3 stars

Enjoyed the plot (techno-thriller) but I found everything else (characters, settings, etc) very underdeveloped and skeletal. People and relationships seemed very flat and one-dimensional, so the story didn't have much depth. The plot is interesting and topical, and certainly open to more depth but Doctorow doesn't go there.

Not being a tech or finance person I could have used a bit more explanatory handholding at points to better grasp the implications of certain events I the story - I had to set aside some questions I had and just go with the flow.

I very much appreciate Doctorow's social media and blog posts, but this was the first time reading his longer works. There was enough here to try another one, but if this is typical of his style it just might not be my type.

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

An interesting thriller that cries out for more technical details to be included.

3 stars

An interesting thriller involving the super rich of Silicon Valley hiding and moving their money around to make more money, and an investigative accountant who works to penetrate the surrounding defences.

In tech-speak, he's a Red Team person who hates to be one defending the accounts against attacks (Blue Team). But in this story, as he works to recover some lost digital keys before they can be used to manipulate digital financial ledgers that should not be alterable, he finds himself in the middle of a dispute between money-laundering families, and is marked for death for acts that he didn't commit. Now, he has to become a Blue Team person, defending against the attacks of the thugs out to get him. But the solution to his problem may involve being a Red Team member again.

A fast moving story with interesting technical details about cryptocurrencies, security and living among the …

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

A Different Kind of Thriller

4 stars

This is a kinetic thriller dealing with cryptocurrency, organized crime, and homelessness. I'm not typically drawn to thrillers without some splash of speculative fiction mixed in heavily, but Doctorow has created something special here that will bring me back for the next two novels in this series.

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

I'm so jaded about SV and wealth

3 stars

A cute techno-thriller, this time focused on an aging retiring accountant rather than a YA scene, and the usual cogent and analytical depictions of today's hyped technologies and social implications. In this case, when money is no object, which cheapens most of the choices.

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

Review of 'Red Team Blues' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Fun story of the precautions the main character did to hide his tracks from powerful people that were looking for him. That being said the story didnt have the overarching lesson or message that Doctorow's books normally have such as avoiding copyright over-reach. This was just a good story about electronic surveillance with some cryptocoin elements.

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

Pitch Perfect

4 stars

What a tremendous combination of modern technology and the best kind of sparse detective story. There were a couple of editorial choices that I found jarring, but otherwise just loved the story. I could see Philip Marlowe getting caught up in this kind of thing, he just didn't have Signal and Tor at his disposal.

Can't wait for the next one!

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

Enjoyable Silicon Valley thriller

4 stars

I haven't read everything by Doctorow, but have been reading him long enough to see what I think is an interesting progression in his writing. His work in the last few years (from the exceptional "Walkaway", to the superb novella collection "Radicalized"), has seemed increasingly readable and smooth. I think it's probably no coincidence that the stories seem to be getting a little shorter too (mostly, "Walkaway" has a certain heft).

His latest, "Red Team Blues", is a financial tech thriller set in Silicon Valley, in which an itinerant, grizzled forensic accountant, Marty Hench, is drawn into a hunt for crucial McGuffin, one that threatens the foundations of a cryptocurrency network.

Hench as a character is a nice clash of genres. On the one hand, he's a like a gritty noir detective - a loner, connected but never settled (literally, he lives on a tour bus), no time or patience …

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

An entertaining and fast paced nerdy banger

5 stars

This was Doctorow at his finest. Its a fast paced book that is very nerdy and very fun.

Recommend this to all of your techie friends. Also for all of your finance friends. Also for all of your friends who have fallen into the dark world of crypto culture...maybe this will help them out.

Never forget - crypto means cryptography!

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

Outstanding, just read it already

5 stars

Unbelievably good and probably will end up as my 'book of the year'. There was a lot of anticipation around this with Doctorow's own editor calling it a 'barn burner' on reading the first draft. I can safely say that the all the hype was fully lived up to. This .... soared. On the face of it, a tale of an accountant in his late 60's getting up to shenanigans in Silicon Valley is not really a premise that sounds like it will work. It so, did. A lot of ground was covered in this novel, it had a breathless tone at times when it was jumping from one thing to the next. Skewering cryptobro culture, examining homelessness in one of the richest cities in the world, dealing with morality and considerations of trust. Look, if you like a good thriller. Read this. If you want some insight into some …

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

Not exactly a thriller but a good story well told

4 stars

Though billed as forensic accounting thriller, I found the book to be a little light on action and tension to merit the word 'thriller.' But our book's hero does have some moments where bad actors are closing in. Caught in the middle of someone else's fight, with doubtful allies from the government, the story does intrigue, and I was lucky to start reading it on a rainy Sunday because I got nothing else done once my nose was in this book. Recommended.

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

Well worth your time!

5 stars

I finished @pluralistic’s #RedTeamBlues this evening, and I would highly - highly - recommend it! It’s a short read, just a tad over 200 pages but it’s quite engrossing. I probably could have finished it last night, but I forced myself to sleep instead.

I really like Doctorow’s writing style, and I always learn some new words (and not just technological ones) when I read his books. One of my favorite hallmarks of his fiction is the use of what I would term “non-standard” protagonists - in this case a 67-year-old confirmed bachelor facing retirement. Definitely not someone I would have expected to be enmeshed with a cast of Very Ruthless People ™️ and crypto-bros. That alone makes the stories so much more relatable and entertaining to me and easier to identify with. And as always, the more technical elements of the plot are thoroughly well-researched and expertly woven together …

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