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Surveillance by Riley Chance

Riley Chance’s Surveillance takes the reader into a New Zealand of, possibly, a near future, where all civilians are under constant and close scrutiny.

Journalist Grace Marks, in need of a fresh and interest-grabbing story, notices that there has been a distinct rise in New Zealand crime in the suburbs. Further delving brings her to the realisation that this escalation of crime not only appears to be contrived and controlled but has links to a security company, Erebus Optics.

The company, which uses the cutting-edge technology of an American corporation, is owned by Will Manilow, who is doing very nicely indeed out of his business venture. However, he too, becomes suspicious of what may be happening and when he downloads a top-secret document from his American associates, a red alert is triggered with momentous consequences.

Surveillance is effectively structured in short, fast-moving chapters. The characters are well-drawn and believable; Grace the curious, will-not-let-it-go journalist, Will Manilow, the businessman who can’t quite believe in his good fortune and starts looking too hard, Marla the clever and ruthless IT expert brought in to deal to what’s happening.

As well as being a fast-moving and, sometimes, fear-provoking crime novel, as in the best of this genre, it also provides social comment, provoking the reader to consider the possible dangers within a society where we are all under constant surveillance. We are reminded of the ramifications of surveillance of citizens under regimes such as Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia and with the advanced technology now available, the possibilities are chilling. Is the purpose to protect or to control?

Reviewer: Paddy Richardson

CopyPress Books

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