It’s Michael Chichton writing as John Lange!
Way (way!) back in the 1970’s author Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) was an honors student at Harvard Medical School. Harvard! But that wasn’t enough for the brilliant overachiever, because at the same time he was also writing suspense novels under the pen name, John Lange. Writing as Lange, Crichton produced eight (pulp styled) novels that are now in print again as part of Titan Books’s new Hard Case Crime series of mystery and suspense novels. Though I’ve got all eight novels, I’m going to take the time to review each one, individually. Starting with the thrilling book; Binary! Here’s the synopsis:
Political radical John Wright is plotting an act of mass destruction – and federal agent John Graves has him under surveillance, trying to figure out what the plot is. When a government computer is hacked and a high-security shipment of nerve gas gets hijacked, Graves puts the pieces together – but can he stop Wright from unleashing his weapon and killing a million people…including the President of the United States?
First, contrary to what the cover shows, there is no naked women in this book! Bummer, right? However, Binary does deliver a very exciting suspense story based in San Diego! Yes, San Diego! The world’s greatest city! The story takes place in the early 1970’s, so it was interesting to read a tale where in people have to use things like CB radios and Magnetic Tape computers to suss out the wrong doings of the demented mad man. Which gave the story some much needed character. Most of our modern spy stories are a collage of high tech computers, sleek gear, and women way too pretty to need day jobs. Binary had none of that! …which is a good thing. This was a story full of “hard boiled” detective types. The type of tough guys who drink day old black coffee and smoke two packs a day! Meat eaters dammit! The type a guys who call women “dames” and if they cry it’s only because old yeller just ate a bullet! Binary was a much needed “palate cleanser” after the frilly vampire story I reviewed last time. Granted, it is a quick read (I finished it in just under a day) but it packs a punch and is one hell of a fun piece of pulp literature.
You can get your own copy of Binary (and other John Lange novels) and all major book stores or at the Titan Books online store!