The following review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.
Cutting Edge by Ward Larsen is a modern-day western, that also reminds readers of Superman and The Six Million Dollar Man. As the book describes it, the antagonist, Delta, and the protagonist, Trey have a “High Noon standoff 21st Century.” The Superman qualities is that each have x-ray vision of sorts where their brains become a computer monitor, and Delta has similar qualities of the Six Million Dollar Man with his speed and strength.
The other character in the book is technology. Larsen connected his characters to the Web, which he does not see as far-fetched. “Trey has a screen in his right eye. Voice and facial recognition are at his fingertips where he can even record and send conversations. I made sure to allow him to have access to only people who are in databases, so he could not find recent refugees or children. He can find any information on a person because he is given top level security access. It is doable where implants are put in the brain and then a person can connect directly to the Internet. I would describe it as an implantable brain computer that interfaces. It is being designed to for those who have prosthetics.”
The plot has Trey Debolt, a Coast Guard rescuer swimmer, fighting for his life after a helicopter crash. Officially he was declared dead, because no one knows that there is a rogue government experimental unit who chose to use him as a guinea pig. He becomes a man on the run after he witnesses his savior, nurse Joan Chandler, being gunned down. It becomes a game of cat and mouse as the hunted and the hunter try to outwit each other. Fortunately for Trey, Shannon Lund decides to investigate his death. Having access to records as a civilian working for the Coast Guard Investigative Service, she agrees to help him get to the bottom of what was done to him and to find the culprits chasing him including Delta.
Besides the fast-paced plot Larsen explores how technology has both good and bad points. Readers will hope that he turns Trey and Shannon into a series and that there will be sequels written.