Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blog Tour Review: Shimmer


Today's review is part of a Blog Tour with Unbridled Books.  I'd like to thank them for providing me with this book and the opportunity to be part of this tour.

Title:  Shimmer
Author:  Eric Barnes
Review Copy Provided by:  Unbridled Books

About the Book:  In just three years, CEO Robbie Case has grown Core Communications, a data technology company, from 30 people to over 5,000. Now a $20 billion company made legendary by its sudden success, Core is based on a technology no other company can come close to copying, a revolutionary breakthrough known as drawing blood from a mainframe. And Robbie, its 35-year-old CEO, is acclaimed worldwide for his vision, leadership and wealth. Except that all of it is based on a lie. The technology doesn t work, the finances are built on a Ponzi scheme of stock sales and shell corporations, and Robbie is struggling to keep the company alive, to protect the friends who work for him and all that they ve built. Each day, Robbie tries to push the catastrophe back a little further, while his employees believe that they are all moving closer to grace, the day their stock options vest, when they will be made rich for their faith and loyalty and hard work. The details of the lie are all keyed into a shadowy interface that Robbie calls Shimmer, an omniscient mainframe that hides itself, calculates its own collapse, threatens to outsmart its creator and to reveal the corporation s illegal, fragile underpinnings. Shimmer is the story of a high-tech crusade nearing its end. The shell game Robbie has created is finally running out of room. And Robbie is the only one who knows or who has a chance to make things right. Or is he? A breathless debut novel that charges the atmosphere with suspense and surprise and delivers complex characters you can root for in spite of their flaws, Shimmer is Robbie s race against the truth.

About the Author:  Eric Barnes is the writer of the novel, Shimmer (Unbridled Books, July 2009). Eric has been writing fiction for many years and published a number of short stories before finding a home for Shimmer at Unbridled
He is the publisher of The Daily News and The Memphis News, two local publications covering business and politics in Memphis. Eric was once COO (and, before that, Publisher and Managing Editor) of Towery Publishing, a publisher of city guides, books, maps, city sites and business directories for cities around the country. Towery went under in 2003, a sad and endless and unforgettable experience that culminated in the purchase of a few cases of beer for the remaining staff at one final staff meeting at Union and Mclean.

Prior to that, Eric was managing editor of a business magazine in New York City, which was in the midst a transtion from what's known as a "business opportunities" magazine to a legitimate business magazine. Business opportunities magazines run ads for get rich quick schemes and, it seems now, those ads were an influence on the much bigger schemes in Shimmer.

Eric lives in Memphis. Previously he lived in New York, and before that in New London, Connecticut. He grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and Juneau, Alaska. He attended the Columbia University School of the Arts, Connecticut College, and Woodrow Wilson High School.

Eric is the father of Reed, Mackenzie, Andrew and Lucy, and husband to Elizabeth, a wonderful person and incredible teacher at Memphis University School. These things are very important.

My Review:  I haven't read a thriller in awhile, so this was a welcome change for me.  It's nice sometimes to take a break from your current genre of reading, to spice it up a little with a good thriller.

I enjoyed the characters in this story.  They are the kind that keep you glued to the book because you want to know what happens to them.  The main character, Robbie, seems like the kind of person who just got involved in something that got him in over his head.  I feel like he inherently wants to do good, but he got into the swindle and then spent the rest of the book trying to figure out how to "fix" everything.

When Ponzi schemes are relevant in the news right now, this book is "right on time."  It gives you a look at a Ponzi scheme from the inside.  Barnes writes about corporate America in a way that will keep you asking for more, hoping for the best, and clinging to the characters even after you close the book.

I enjoyed this one and hope that you will take the time to read it.  4 out of 5 stars for Eric Barnes and Shimmer.


Sue Jackson said...

This sounds goos, with a unique plot. Thanks for the review!


Eric Barnes said...

Thanks for reading and reviewing Shimmer. I really appreciate it. Eric Barnes

bermudaonion said...

I do love a good thriller! I might get this for my hubby to read at the beach.

drey said...

I liked it too, Shel! & Eric's nice. *grin*

Anna said...

I've never read a book like this, but it sounds interesting. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

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