Red Team Blues

English language

Published Nov. 21, 2023 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom.

ISBN:
978-1-250-86586-1
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4 stars (19 reviews)

New York Times bestseller Cory Doctorow's Red Team Blues is a grabby next-Tuesday thriller about cryptocurrency shenanigans that will awaken you to how the world really works.

Martin Hench is 67 years old, single, and successful in a career stretching back to the beginnings of Silicon Valley. He lives and roams California in a very comfortable fully-furnished touring bus, The Unsalted Hash, that he bought years ago from a fading rock star. He knows his way around good food and fine drink. He likes intelligent women, and they like him back often enough.

Martin is a—contain your excitement—self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He knows computer hardware and software alike, including the ins and outs of high-end databases and the kinds of spreadsheets that are designed to conceal rather than reveal. He’s …

6 editions

Worth the read for the plot

3 stars

Enjoyed the plot (techno-thriller) but I found everything else (characters, settings, etc) very underdeveloped and skeletal. People and relationships seemed very flat and one-dimensional, so the story didn't have much depth. The plot is interesting and topical, and certainly open to more depth but Doctorow doesn't go there.

Not being a tech or finance person I could have used a bit more explanatory handholding at points to better grasp the implications of certain events in the story - I had to set aside some questions I had and just go with the flow.

I very much appreciate Doctorow's social media and blog posts, but this was the first time reading his longer works. There was enough here to try another one, but if this is typical of his style it just might not be my type.

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

An interesting thriller that cries out for more technical details to be included.

3 stars

An interesting thriller involving the super rich of Silicon Valley hiding and moving their money around to make more money, and an investigative accountant who works to penetrate the surrounding defences.

In tech-speak, he's a Red Team person who hates to be one defending the accounts against attacks (Blue Team). But in this story, as he works to recover some lost digital keys before they can be used to manipulate digital financial ledgers that should not be alterable, he finds himself in the middle of a dispute between money-laundering families, and is marked for death for acts that he didn't commit. Now, he has to become a Blue Team person, defending against the attacks of the thugs out to get him. But the solution to his problem may involve being a Red Team member again.

A fast moving story with interesting technical details about cryptocurrencies, security and living among the …

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

A Different Kind of Thriller

4 stars

This is a kinetic thriller dealing with cryptocurrency, organized crime, and homelessness. I'm not typically drawn to thrillers without some splash of speculative fiction mixed in heavily, but Doctorow has created something special here that will bring me back for the next two novels in this series.

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

Enjoyable Silicon Valley thriller

4 stars

I haven't read everything by Doctorow, but have been reading him long enough to see what I think is an interesting progression in his writing. His work in the last few years (from the exceptional "Walkaway", to the superb novella collection "Radicalized"), has seemed increasingly readable and smooth. I think it's probably no coincidence that the stories seem to be getting a little shorter too (mostly, "Walkaway" has a certain heft).

His latest, "Red Team Blues", is a financial tech thriller set in Silicon Valley, in which an itinerant, grizzled forensic accountant, Marty Hench, is drawn into a hunt for crucial McGuffin, one that threatens the foundations of a cryptocurrency network.

Hench as a character is a nice clash of genres. On the one hand, he's a like a gritty noir detective - a loner, connected but never settled (literally, he lives on a tour bus), no time or patience …

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

An entertaining and fast paced nerdy banger

5 stars

This was Doctorow at his finest. Its a fast paced book that is very nerdy and very fun.

Recommend this to all of your techie friends. Also for all of your finance friends. Also for all of your friends who have fallen into the dark world of crypto culture...maybe this will help them out.

Never forget - crypto means cryptography!

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow

Come for bleeding edge crypto crime, stay for the Lotus 1-2-3 mentions

5 stars

Maybe @pluralistic@mamot.fr lost a bet? Why else write a novel about an 'ageing accountant'? If so, Cory Doctorow got the last laugh, because Red Team Blues is a gripping page-turner!

Our hero, Marty, is only technically an accountant (forensic accountant “when I wanted to talk about the job”), this is really a detective novel, complete with organised crime in the shadows, grisly murders, covert government agents, thugs with clubs lying in wait in lobbies, and “old fashioned shoe-leather work”.

These crime-novel boxes are ticked, as only Doctorow can, with the most germane near-future-but-could-be-today technological and social elements possible. Cryptocurrency is central to the plot (and Marty's strong opinions about crypto groaned out in the very first chapter), as are ‘secure enclaves’, a ubiquitous computing technology that's as obscure as it is crucial.

Doctorow brings this obscurity into the light with trademark clarity, but the tech, the drilling through processors, …

reviewed Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (Martin Hench, #1)

Well worth your time!

5 stars

I finished @pluralistic’s #RedTeamBlues this evening, and I would highly - highly - recommend it! It’s a short read, just a tad over 200 pages but it’s quite engrossing. I probably could have finished it last night, but I forced myself to sleep instead.

I really like Doctorow’s writing style, and I always learn some new words (and not just technological ones) when I read his books. One of my favorite hallmarks of his fiction is the use of what I would term “non-standard” protagonists - in this case a 67-year-old confirmed bachelor facing retirement. Definitely not someone I would have expected to be enmeshed with a cast of Very Ruthless People ™️ and crypto-bros. That alone makes the stories so much more relatable and entertaining to me and easier to identify with. And as always, the more technical elements of the plot are thoroughly well-researched and expertly woven together …

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