Forge, 24.95, Apr 2001, 317 pp.
Stanford graduates Michael and Victoria Ryan can testify that college is quite expensive as the couple realizes that they are buried in debt. Michael has offers from the who's who of the computer world. When the Austin, Texas based SoftCorp arranges an interview through the university with Michael, he is forced to attend due to Stanford rules. However, the electrical engineering Masters recipient has no plans to leave his home in Northern California, to join an unknown computer company. However, the SoftCorp CEO offers Michael a deal he cannot refuse that includes paying off his and his wife's debts and obtaining a job for his spouse at a nearby bank.
Not long after relocating, Michael realizes that SoftCorp, whose only client is the IRS, is pulling a major scam sending money out of the country. The FBI sees Michael as the first chink in the SoftCorp-IRS armor and recruits him to help them with their investigation. Michael does not realize the danger to himself, his wife, and the country from a conspiracy that reaches high up in the national hierarchy.
CONSPIRACY.COM is a powerful suspense thriller that combines the secrecy of the IRS with very current information technology. Though the story line would be expected to be a stretch, the plot works because the key players especially Michael and Victoria seem real. Anyone who enjoys a non-stop, action packed modern day thriller will want to read this excellent tale, whose only setback is the small sized print.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner