In this electrifying near-future thriller, five strangers guard government secrets, but only four can be trusted.
In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into - so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders - the latest weapon in thwarting cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country's most classified information has been taken offline and turned into genetic code implanted inside their heads.
Together, the five know every secret - the truth behind every government lie, conspiracy theory and cover up. In return, they're given the chance to leave their problems behind and a blank slate to start their lives anew.
But not everyone should be trusted, especially when they each have secrets of their own they'll do anything to protect...
In this high-octane near-future thriller from Marrs (The Passengers), a covert program to preserve the country's most crucial records enlists citizens in a most unusual way. Two years earlier, the Hacking Collective infiltrated the network controlling autonomous vehicles, causing collisions that claimed over 5,000 lives. Subsequently, the Collective has launched massive ransomware attacks, leading to fears that the National Archives could also be compromised. The radical solution, to buy time while the security forces devise ultra-secure computer systems, is to take all its contents offline by converting the data into binary code that would then be stored in DNA and injected into people's brains, where it could later be retrieved. Those living repositories, known as Minders, are selected after passing a test that's aimed at people with synesthesia. Of course, the plan doesn't go smoothly, leading to several violent deaths and the government losing track of the Minders' whereabouts. The effective world-building includes showing how DNA research extends into other realms of society. This page-turner never sacrifices the characters' humanity for the sake of plot. Marrs has definitely upped his game.