Book Review: The Intrusions by Stav Sherez

Even if you catch me, there’s hundreds of thousands just like me all over the world, cruising the web, looking for prey…You’ll never feel safe again.

One of the most chilling thrillers to be published in the recent times, The Intrusions gives a sneak peek into what technology can do, how a crime can be committed without being seen or heard, how someone’s entire life can be turned into hell with a single click. In his latest book, Stav Sherez takes the reader for a topsy-turvy, mind nerving ride into a world of the dark net where there are no rules.

A hysterical young girl, apparently high on drugs, slams into detective Miller claiming that her friend, Anna has been claimed and her abductor is coming back to claim her. Nobody believes her till a body is found and thus, begins the journey to the modern-day hell created and recreated by netizens for their pleasure. Thrown into a frightening world, detectives Carrigan and Miller discover the modern-day horrors of the deep web, ratting, phishing, stalking, voyeurism, hacking et cetera. All-pervading, technology has become truly the new GOD – omniscient, powerful, invisible – and it is most horrifying as there are no rules to play by.

As the reader plunges deeper into the book, one unravels how one’s entire life can be intruded upon, how every evil can be “endlessly repeated to an audience who could do nothing but watch and seethe” and there’s an audience for every horror imaginable. In the book, Sharez lays out the blueprint for the future where one doesn’t need to watch out just for the government intrusion but also for the criminal intrusion, “I wanted more control. I wanted to be able to look into every corner of their lives…

A police procedural for the digital age, the book explores the complex nature of crime in the internet age where the criminals are shielded with anonymity and the criminal chain get tainted and amplified by the sheer number of people who get involved in it, just to get a kick.

While unravelling the intrusions that has pervaded the life of the girls before being killed, the author also brilliantly depicts the personal life of the lead characters. Troubled and vulnerable, Carrigan and Miller are the blood and flesh characters who are completely relatable, unlike the self-righteous goody coppers.

What truly sets the book apart is the detailed psychological exploration of not just the criminals but the seemingly harmless youngsters. “Had too much reality TV and the Internet stripped the world of consequence for this generation.

Intense and taut, the book just seems to be the serial killer mystery on the surface but goes much deeper than a simple mystery. Creepy, to say the least, the book really brings out the ubiquitous nature of technology that intrudes every aspect of one’s life – privacy has become a thing of the past.

Provocative and gripping, the book remains with the reader a long time after it ends and forces the reader to contemplate about the price that one is truly paying to be a part of the technological world.

A fictional version of the Silk Road (dark web marketplace), The Intrusions deserves every award it has gotten.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

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