Title: The Woman Who Stopped Traffic
Author: Daniel Pembray
This is the story of Natalie Chevalier as she becomes Head of Security for the company Clamor.us, a Facebook-like website with a dark connection to sex trafficking. It fits the mystery and thriller genre quite well and does have echoes of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, as many reviewers before me have pointed out. This story involves crimes and murders ready to be solved behind many well-researched technical aspects.
I really felt a separation in the story, like in Larsson’s novel: action vs technical. There was Natalie’s point of view broken up by what felt like a dozen of chapters about a group of men sitting together to discuss the website’s funding, marketing, shares, etc.
Natalie’s part of the story was great – I actually shivered when she entered the modification of the gaming world and, spoiler alert, saw how it connected back to Clamor. Any time the novel switched to her point of view, it would be a page turner. I enjoyed Natalie’s character very much. She felt believable as a corporate woman running away from a shocking love disaster to become a yoga instructor in the Bahamas, only to return to dip her toes in that realm once more. Some of the corporate characters, though, felt almost faceless and I kept getting mixed up between them. But then again, they were always discussing Clamor and finances, so it’s hard to see them other than figures getting overwhelmed in managing the website.
I think Pembray had a very specific audience in mind, and unfortunately, it wasn’t my cup of tea. I could tolerate “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”‘s lengthy pages on politics, but marketing and finances simply bore me to tears. I admit that I did flip past a lot of pages when the topic came up. Thankfully, I love video games, computers and social media site, so the book does deserve its three stars. If you despise marketing like I do, however, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you flip past those pages, it’s a good book. Also, it is a heavy read when compared to what I usually enjoy – don’t pick this up for light reading!
I would like to thank Daniel Cooper, as well as Netgalley, for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.