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The Blue Nowhere (Anglais) Cassette – mai 2001

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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche.
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The Blue Nowhere
CHAPTER 00000001 / ONE

The battered white van had made her uneasy.

Lara Gibson sat at the bar of Vesta’s Grill on De Anza in Cupertino, California, gripping the cold stem of her martini glass and ignoring the two young chip-jocks standing nearby, casting flirtatious glances at her.

She looked outside again, into the overcast drizzle, and saw no sign of the windowless Econoline that, she believed, had followed her from her house, a few miles away, to the restaurant. Lara slid off the bar stool and walked to the window, glanced outside. The van wasn’t in the restaurant’s parking lot. Nor was it across the street in the Apple Computer lot or the one next to it, belonging to Sun Microsystems. Either of those lots would’ve been a logical place to park to keep an eye on her—if the driver had in fact been stalking her.

No, the van was just a coincidence, she decided—a coincidence aggravated by a splinter of paranoia.

She returned to the bar and glanced at the two young men who were alternately ignoring her and offering subtle smiles.

Like nearly all the young men here for happy hour they were in casual slacks and tie-less dress shirts and wore the ubiquitous insignia of Silicon Valley—corporate identification badges on thin canvas lanyards around their necks. These two sported the blue cards of Sun Microsystems. Other squadrons represented here were Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Apple, not to mention a slew of new kids on the block, start-up Internet companies, which were held in some disdain by the venerable Valley regulars.

At thirty-two, Lara Gibson was probably five years older than her two admirers. And as a self-employed businesswoman who wasn’t a geek—connected with a computer company—she was easily five times poorer. But that didn’t matter to these two men, who were already captivated by her exotic, intense face surrounded by a tangle of raven hair, her ankle boots, a red-and-orange gypsy skirt and a black sleeveless top that showed off hard-earned biceps.

She figured that it would be two minutes before one of these boys approached her and she missed that estimate by only ten seconds.

The young man gave her a variation of a line she’d heard a dozen times before: Excuse me don’t mean to interrupt but hey would you like me to break your boyfriend’s leg for making a beautiful woman wait alone in a bar and by the way can I buy you a drink while you decide which leg?

Another woman might have gotten mad, another woman might have stammered and blushed and looked uneasy or might have flirted back and let him buy her an unwanted drink because she didn’t have the wherewithal to handle the situation. But those would be women weaker than she. Lara Gibson was “the queen of urban protection,” as the San Francisco Chronicle had once dubbed her. She fixed her eyes on the man’s, gave a formal smile and said, “I don’t care for any company right now.”

Simple as that. End of conversation.

He blinked at her frankness, avoided her staunch eyes and returned to his friend.

Power . . . it was all about power.

She sipped her drink.

In fact, that damn white van had brought to mind all the rules she’d developed as someone who taught women to protect themselves in today’s society. Several times on the way to the restaurant she’d glanced into her rearview mirror and noticed the van thirty or forty feet behind. It had been driven by some kid. He was white but his hair was knotted into messy brown dreadlocks. He wore combat fatigues and, despite the overcast and misty rain, sunglasses. This was, of course, Silicon Valley, home of slackers and hackers, and it wasn’t unusual to stop in Starbucks for a venti skim latte and be waited on by a polite teenager with a dozen body piercings, a shaved head and an outfit like an inner-city gangsta’s. Still, the driver had seemed to stare at her with an eerie hostility.

Lara found herself absently fondling the can of pepper spray she kept in her purse.

Another glance out the window. She saw only fancy cars bought with dot-com money.

A look around the room. Only harmless geeks.

Relax, she told herself and sipped her potent martini.

She noted the wall clock. Quarter after seven. Sandy was fifteen minutes late. Not like her. Lara pulled out her cell phone but the display read NO SERVICE.

She was about to find the pay phone when she glanced up and saw a young man enter the bar and wave at her. She knew him from somewhere but couldn’t quite place him. His trim but long blond hair and the goatee had stuck in her mind. He wore white jeans and a rumpled blue work shirt. His concession to the fact he was part of corporate America was a tie; as befit a Silicon Valley businessman, though, the design wasn’t stripes or Jerry Garcia flowers but a cartoon Tweety Bird.

“Hey, Lara.” He walked up and shook her hand, leaned against the bar. “Remember me? I’m Will Randolph. Sandy’s cousin? Cheryl and I met you on Nantucket—at Fred and Mary’s wedding.”

Right, that’s where she recognized him from. He and his pregnant wife sat at the same table with Lara and her boyfriend, Hank. “Sure. How you doing?”

“Good. Busy. But who isn’t around here?”

His plastic neckwear read Xerox Corporation PARC. She was impressed. Even nongeeks knew about Xerox’s legendary Palo Alto Research Center five or six miles north of here.

Will flagged down the bartender and ordered a light beer. “How’s Hank?” he asked. “Sandy said he was trying to get a job at Wells Fargo.”

“Oh, yeah, that came through. He’s at orientation down in L.A. right now.”

The beer came and Will sipped. “Congratulations.”

A flash of white in the parking lot.

Lara looked toward it quickly, alarmed. But the vehicle turned out to be a white Ford Explorer with a young couple inside.

Her eyes focused past the Ford and scanned the street and the parking lots again, recalling that, on the way here, she’d glanced at the side of the van as it passed her when she’d turned into the restaurant’s parking lot. There’d been a smear of something dark and reddish on the side; probably mud—but she’d thought it almost looked like blood.

“You okay?” Will asked.

“Sure. Sorry.” She turned back to him, glad she had an ally. Another of her urban protection rules: Two people are always better than one. Lara now modified that by adding, Even if one of them is a skinny geek who can’t be more than five feet, ten inches tall and is wearing a cartoon tie.

Will continued, “Sandy called me on my way home and asked if I’d stop by and give you a message. She tried to call you but couldn’t get through on your cell. She’s running late and asked if you could meet her at that place next to her office where you went last month, Ciro’s? In Mountain View. She made a reservation at eight.”

“You didn’t have to come by. She could’ve called the bartender.”

“She wanted me to give you the pictures I took at the wedding. You two can look at ’em tonight and tell me if you want any copies.”

Will noticed a friend across the bar and waved—Silicon Valley may extend hundreds of square miles but it’s really just a small town. He said to Lara, “Cheryl and I were going to bring the pictures this weekend to Sandy’s place in Santa Barbara. . . .”

“Yeah, we’re going down on Friday.”

Will paused and smiled as if he had a huge secret to share. He pulled his wallet out and flipped it open to a picture of himself, his wife and a very tiny, ruddy baby. “Last week,” he said proudly. “Claire.”

“Oh, adorable,” Lara whispered.

“So we’ll be staying pretty close to home for a while.”

“How’s Cheryl?”

“Fine. The baby’s fine. There’s nothing like it. . . . But, I’ll tell you, being a father totally changes your life.”

“I’m sure it does.”

Lara glanced at the clock again. Seven-thirty. It was a half-hour drive to Ciro’s this time of night. “I better get going.”

Then, with a thud of alarm, she thought again about the van and the driver.

The dreadlocks.

The rusty smear on the battered door. . . .

Will gestured for the check and paid.

“You don’t have to do that,” she said. “I’ll get it.”

He laughed. “You already did.”


“That mutual fund you told me about at the wedding. The one you’d just bought?”

Lara remembered shamelessly bragging about a biotech fund that had zoomed up 60 percent last year.

“I got home from Nantucket and bought a shitload of it. . . . So . . . thanks.” He tipped the beer toward her. Then he stood. “You all set?”

“You bet.” Lara stared uneasily at the door as they walked toward it.

It was just paranoia, she told herself. She thought momentarily, as she did from time to time, that she should get a real job, like all of these people in the bar. She shouldn’t dwell so much on the world of violence.

Sure, just paranoia . . .

But, if so, then why had the dreadlocked kid sped off so fast when she’d pulled into the parking lot here and glanced at him?

Will stepped outside and opened his umbrella. He held it up for both of them to use.

Lara recalled another rule of urban protection: Never feel too embarrassed or proud to ask for help.

And yet as Lara was about to ask Will Randolph to walk her to her car after they got the snapshots she had a thought: If the kid in the van really was a threat, wasn’t it selfish of her to ask him to endanger himself? Here he was, a husband and new father, with other people depending on him. It seemed unfair to—

“Something wrong?” Will asked.

“Not really.”

“You sure?” he persisted.

“Well, I think somebody followed me here to the restaurant. Some kid.”

Will looked around. “You see him?”

“Not now.”

He asked, “You have that Web site, right? About how women can protect themselves.”

“That’s right.”

“You think he knows about it? Maybe he’s harassing you.”

“Could be. You’d be surprised at the hate mail I get.”

He reached for his cell phone. “You want to call the police?”

She debated.

Never feel too embarrassed or proud to ask for help.

“No, no. Just . . . would you mind, after we get the pictures, walking me to my car?”

Will smiled. “Of course not. I don’t exactly know karate but I can yell for help with the best of them.”

She laughed. “Thanks.”

They walked along the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and she checked out the cars. As in every parking lot in Silicon Valley there were dozens of Saabs, BMWs and Lexuses. No vans, though. No kids. No bloody smears.

Will nodded toward where he’d parked, in the back lot. He said, “You see him?”


They walked past a stand of juniper and toward his car, a spotless silver Jaguar.

Jesus, did everybody in Silicon Valley have money except her?

He dug the keys out of his pocket. They walked to the trunk. “I only took two rolls at the wedding. But some of them are pretty good.” He opened the trunk and paused and then looked around the parking lot. She did too. It was completely deserted. His was the only car there.

Will glanced at her. “You were probably wondering about the dreads.”


“Yeah,” he said. “The dreadlocks.” His voice was flatter, distracted. He was still smiling but his face was different now. It seemed hungry.

“What do you mean?” she asked calmly but fear was detonating inside her. She noticed a chain was blocking the entrance to the back parking lot. And she knew he’d hooked it after he’d pulled in—to make sure nobody else could park there.

“It was a wig.”

Oh, Jesus, my Lord, thought Lara Gibson, who hadn’t prayed in twenty years.

He looked into her eyes, recording her fear. “I parked the Jag here a while ago then stole the van and followed you from home. With the combat jacket and wig on. You know, just so you’d get edgy and paranoid and want me to stay close. . . . I know all your rules—that urban protection stuff. Never go into a deserted parking lot with a man. Married men with children are safer than single men. And my family portrait? In my wallet? I hacked it together from a picture in Parents magazine.”

She whispered hopelessly, “You’re not . . . ?”

“Sandy’s cousin? Don’t even know him. I picked Will Randolph because he’s somebody you sort of know, who sort of looks like me. I mean, there’s no way in the world I could’ve gotten you out here alone if you hadn’t known me—or thought you did. Oh, you can take your hand out of your purse.” He held up her canister of pepper spray. “I got it when we were walking outside.”

“But . . .” Sobbing now, shoulders slumped in hopelessness. “Who are you? You don’t even know me. . . .”

“Not true, Lara,” he whispered, studying her anguish the way an imperious chess master examines his defeated opponent’s face. “I know everything about you. Everything in the world.” --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

Revue de presse

San Francisco Chronicle A gripping high-tech page turner.

USA Today A terrific thriller.

People High-tension wired.

Entertainment Weekly The Blue Nowhere is that rare cyberthriller that doesn't make us want to log off in the middle.

San Francisco Chronicle Deaver packs The Blue Nowhere with enough twists and surprises that even the most alert reader will be gulled by the numerous red herrings and narrative decoys....He has the language of technology down cold, but thankfully, never goes over the reader's head. Think of a technical manual with intrigue, fights, chases, and double-crosses. And there's no need to reboot.

Kirkus Reviews Just when you thought it was safe to check your e-mail, psychokiller specialist Deaver shows just how malignant the human ghost in your machine can be.

The Boston Herald Grounded in expert knowledge about how computers actually operate....You won't learn how to break into the Pentagon. But you will get a sense of the allure of cyberspace.

Publishers Weekly How do you write a truly gripping thriller about people staring into computer screens? Many have tried, none have succeeded -- until now....As he twists suspense and tension to gigahertz levels, Deaver springs an astonishing number of surprises....His real triumph is to make the hacker world come alive in all its midnight, reality-cracking intensity. This novel is, in hacker lingo, "totally moby" -- the most exciting and most vivid fiction yet about the neverland hackers call 'The Blue Nowhere.'

The Times (London) [A] taut tale.

The Deseret News (Salt Lake City) [A] clever thriller....Neatly conceived and well written. The characters are well developed and believable....[Deaver] builds suspense upon suspense, including odd twists and turns. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

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Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Si vous aimez la science-fiction, il n'est pas toujours facile d'y trouver un lien avec la réalité. Dans ce cas, ce livre, écrit en 2002 donne à la fois la sensation que l'auteur a vraiment bien travaillé son sujet, disposait d'une certaine vision du futur et aussi d'un bon bagage technique. Pas de vaissaux, de galaxies our de super-héros, rien que du bien concret.

L'avantage de l'approche est que parmi les acteurs, certains sont des "béotiens" dans le monde de l'IT ce qui laisse l'occasion à l'auteur d'expliquer pas mal de termes et de concepts du monde du "hacking". Ceci dit, rien d'extraordinaire pour les gens du métier.

Les méandres de l'intrigue (tout comme certains rebonsissements) surprennent et fascinent dans un premier temps, mais à force de répétition, usent occasionnelment la patience du lecteur. Ceci étant, le final justifie cette patience.

Attention : le vocabulaire employé est très riche pour un non anglophone. Un dictionnaire (papier ou en ligne) sera nécessaire pour clarifier certains mots que j'ai pour ma part rencontré pour la première fois.

Une traduction française (ou qui sait demain in bon film) devrait donner accès à un plus large public.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.0 étoiles sur 5 308 commentaires
28 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fast and well-thought 19 mai 2001
Par Rob Lawrence - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This book surprised me on many levels, and I start by saying that I highly recommend it. As a person who likes to savor books, I read this one in two evenings. After Speaking in Tongues, I was a little wary of getting excited about another Jeffery Deaver's book. But as a programmer, I decide to pick it up because it is about something I have an interest in. Wyatt Gillette, a convicted felon, and the California Computer Crimes Unit attempt to stop a man, and an unknown accomplice, who uses his computer for the ultimate evil: murder. Jeffery Deaver throws out a few curve balls to keep the reader guessing, but avoids the unbelievable twists that seem to be rampant in thrillers. Generally I find that hi-tech fictional works are usual laughable in their portrayal and explanations of the technologies involved. Along this line,I have long felt that Michael Crichton is one of the best authors in researching his topics. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Mr. Deaver did a great job in his own; all-in-all, his events and explanations were realistic and they reflect his opinion that the reader is not stupid, without going so far as to be a textbook on the subject. It is a very fast moving book, and there are complaints that the characters are not deeply developed. I attribute this to two things. It would take away from the quick pace of the story, and furthermore it is unnecessary. You learn enough about Wyatt and Phate without needless filler. Don't get me wrong, there are a couple of spots where I crinkled my nose in disbelief, but it is a work of fiction and it is a very good one at that.
22 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A first rate thriller! 2 mai 2001
Par Debbie Lee Wesselmann - Publié sur
Format: Relié
From the moment I cracked this book, it became my downfall. I couldn't leave it, even for a few minutes, without longing for its fast-paced, utterly addictive plot. From the first paragraph to the last, this novel captured my imagination so fully that I wanted to skip meals and postpone sleep, much like the hackers portrayed in its pages.
The novel begins with the murder of a highly security conscious woman. From the first few pages, the reader knows this is no ordinary murder, although the chapters to come will reveal exactly how extraordinary the killer is. When the police suspect a skilled hacker who has taken his role-playing games into the real world, they enlist the aid of a convicted felon and "wizard" (an expert hacker) who is granted a temporary release from prison. At first glance, this is not a novel premise, but HOW the cracker accomplishes his murders elevates this story to the level of pure creepiness, reflecting the level of technology our society has acquired and our blind confidence in it. The killer's intelligence and intimate knowledge of code make him a particularly elusive and dangerous suspect.
Deaver's plot twists and turns so many times, giving false clues in the best spirit of genre and then dropping new ones, so the reader makes dozens of guesses about the outcome but probably will come up short. Although Deaver does make some clumsy moves (for example, dialogue often takes unnatural directions for the sake of exposition, and sometimes his facts are slightly off the mark) and can be repetitive, all in all his slips don't detract from this in-the-throat thriller. Yes, the characters aren't fully realized and verge on being types, but hey, you don't read this kind of book for characterizations. You read it to lose yourself in a suspenseful plot, and Deaver certainly delivers here. Deaver is such a good storyteller that he can make you both gullible and paranoid at the same time. Right now I can't even type this review without a hitch of doubt.
Next time your computer crashes, or your typing seems sluggish, or you meet someone in the street who looks vaguely familiar and who reminds you of who he is, you'll break out with little beads of sweat, wondering if the world really is how it appears. This residual effect is Deaver's greatest triumph.
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1.0 étoiles sur 5 Blue Nowhere Goes Nowhere 26 mai 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Maybe it's because I've been in the computer business for 20 years that this book bothered me so much with it's inaccuracies. Since the plot of the book is based on interaction with computers, the computer terminology and capabilities are the primary basis for the action in the book.
Let me give you a few examples of inaccuracies: his referrals to "IBM clone". It must be 10 years since I've heard that term, who uses that anymore? "PC" or "Windows-Based" is the generally accepted connotation these days. Then there is the computer "wizard" who boots his computer to the "blinking C: prompt" - why does a wizard use DOS? Beats me. Okay, say he has his reasons (like when booting off a "boot disk"), in reality the C: prompt doesn't blink, the cursor does.
Not real serious (yet), how's this: the hacker who runs a DOS program called "Detective.exe" - first of all that's an invalid filename in DOS (it must be of the form 8.3 - meaning 8 letters maximum for the first part of the name) - even if it were valid, you don't have to type "Detective.exe" to start the program, "Detective" is enough. A true hacker would have called the program "d.exe" anyway, saving typing and not revealing the program's purpose by giving it an obvious title (see TRAPDOOR next). There is also the "TRAPDOOR" program (which Deaver erroneously calls a "virus"; a "trapdoor" is a way of entering a computer system and has nothing in common with a virus). This TRAPDOOR program asks questions to elicit an action from the user. This is a pretty lame program for a "wizard" to come up with. Using mouse detection one doesn't have to answer such questions - you click a button to start an action. When a hacker writes a program he makes it as cryptic as possible so if someone else stumbles across it they won't know what it's for or how to use it - you don't put in a MENU detailing it's (possible or probable illegal) actions!
I also had problems imagining how a convict assembles a computer without a monitor but with a modem, using only the odd parts he finds lying around his prison cell (and he's in solitary too).
I don't understand how a book that is so geared towards computers gets published without a real computer expert to check it out first. {I love the movie Jurassic Park, but the computer scenes make me cringe - this is a Spielberg production! What happened there? Was accuracy sacrificed for artistic license?)
Deaver throws around a lot of terms like "Linux" and "Unix", but he doesn't have the basics down. I won't even go into the more advanced technical problems with what the so-called expert hacker in the book does (for example, Deaver treats all computers as if they were servers directly connected to the internet). Maybe I'm a little sensitive here, after all I am a hacker, NOT a cracker, and I know the difference.
I was so turned off by the constant mistakes I gave up reading after 70 pages. I just couldn't get into story. I've enjoyed other thrillers from Deaver such as The Bone Collector, Hell's Kitchen, etc., but he's really off the mark with this one. I can't recommend it.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Terrific plot 24 décembre 2003
Par Dan Ronco - Publié sur
Format: Poche
This is Jeffery Deaver's first venture into a cyberthriller and he does a pretty good job. The strength of the novel is its plot: a no-holds-barred contest between two hackers. Wyatt Gillette is doing time for a few minor computer crimes when he is offered a temporary reprieve if he helps the state police track down a murderous cracker called Phate. The plot takes one turn after another, building suspense as Phate searches for new victims and Gillette tries to stop him. Why is Phate committing these murders? Who is his partner? Who's the traitor within the police? Is Gillette really a good guy? Plenty of mystery and suspense to keep you turning the pages.
Although the plot is terrific, the story has a couple of weak points. Deaver is not a computer pro and it shows. Although many of the inaccuracies are minor - only a technically sophisticated person would notice - some of them were really ridiculous (Gillette's fingertips are so strong from fingertip pushups that they crush keyboards during coding sessions).
Another problem is that Phate turns out to be a stock character - I won't give away the details, but you could probably put together a description without reading the novel. It's too bad because he starts out as an interesting, mysterious adversary. Still, the Blue Nowhere is a good thriller, well worth reading.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another Great Novel! 15 mai 2001
Par Zane - Publié sur
Format: Relié
There are some people who are mediocre at what they do and then there are masters. Jeffrey Deaver is the master of suspense in my humble opinion. No one weaves a thriller together quite like he does. His latest novel, The Blue Nowhere, is no exception. Phate is a killer, a killer that finds out every intricate detail of his victim's life beforehand by snatching the root directory of their computers. He is a hacker, the best of the best, a wizard and there is only one person that can stop him: another wizard.
Wyatt Gillette is trying to quietly serve out his three-year sentence at a federal penitentiary for computer tampering. However, he jumps at the chance to help track down a killer when the local authorities arrange to get him released for 72 hours. He gets even more excited when he discovers that the killer is one of his old running buddies. Wyatt and Phate had founded The Knights of Access together, both geniuses in their own right. But there was one slight difference: Wyatt did it for fun, just to see if it could be done, and Phate did it for evil. So they parted ways and now it is time for them to have the ultimate showdown. Typing more than 100 words per minute, trying to outsmart each other, the police fade into the woodwork as they go after each other for vengeance, glory, and for the love of the game.
This is not a good novel. This is a great novel. If you have never experienced a Jeffrey Deaver ride, this is a good place to jump on the bandwagon.
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