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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
My initial encounter with award-winning author SL Beaumont was in Death Count, the first of her new thriller series featuring forensic accountant, Kat Munro. In that novel, which I highly recommend, the fickle finger of fate was a key player in several deadly events. Well, fate continues to play a nasty hand in Cyber Count, where senior citizens learning to navigate the internet find their savings accounts emptied, a bright journalist investigating cybercrime nearly dies, net-savvy teens get caught up a murder and money-laundering activities, and Kate herself ends up with a gun in her face from a most unexpected assailant. Yes, there’s a lot going on in this complicated plot full of interesting characters and surprise encounters, all tempered by feel-good acts of kindness and a nice touch of romance. It’s an excellent second book in this series with a protagonist to whom readers will easily relate.
Readers unfamiliar with just how vulnerable we all are to cybercrime will get a non-boring, but in-depth education when they read this novel. Cybercrime is frightening and real. Having worked in banking, SL Beaumont knows what she is talking about. But while she educates her readers, she also entertains us beautifully as our emotions see-saw between Kat’s dangerous encounters and her choppy romantic relationship with DS Adam Jackson. These two have a rocky history explored in the afore-mentioned Death Count and developed further in Cyber Count, but far be it from me to tell you more about that.
While developing her primary plot and the romantic sub-plot, Beaumont also sympathetically touches on a rather important social issue i.e. what motivates teens in this novel to do what they do? Their choices aren't wise, but their feelings, motivations, and subsequent actions are all too realistic. This secondary theme is ever so cleverly woven into the primary plot. Don’t be surprised if you find your coffee has gone cold each time worried parents, victims, and investigators try to make sense of the many threads wound through this cyber crime-loaded novel. The pace, action, and emotion are so intense you forget to drink it! That’s good writing. Kudos to SL Beaumont on creating another winning protagonist in her new Kat Munro series.