bruen_chris1 bruen_chris2
Full Name: Chris Bruen
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Lawyer

Creator: Reese Hirsch
Time Span: 2013 - 2014


Chris Bruen is a lawyer.

That does not say much about why he would get involved in espionage activities until his specialty is mentioned, at which point it becomes a deal more logical. Bruen is described as a "privacy and security law specialist who helped his clients combat hackers and cybercriminals". He is employed by Reynolds, Fincher & McComb, a highly successful and prestigious law firm in San Francisco of which Bruen is a partner.

Bruen was for many years a Department of Justice cybercrimes prosecutor who had amassed an impressive winning percentage. It had been his job to convict hackers. In the private sector he did not change his stance on battling cyber criminals but took a job for the law firm that allowed him to continue his work, this time protecting corporations from illegal intrusions. The work was still very satisfying and the pay was considerably better.

Bruen's interest in, and his terrific expertise in hacking and cyber-intrusion started back in the mid 80s when he was a teenager, tall for his age and rail-thin with acne problems and not much confidence outside of his skills on the keyboard. As such, Bruen and two friends were a trio of successful computer hackers who had for a lark with no other intention prowled cybernetically into the DOD database. They just as quickly got out but not before the sniffers in place has tracked them down. Chris was proud of himself for his accomplishment and scared to death about the ramifications which came a few days later as the FBI knocked on the door. He was charged with violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, got probation and a sealed juvenile record.

He is a good looking man likely in his mid 40's, based on his musings about dating a 25-year old paralegal at his firm who was at least 15 years his junior. He is six years a widower having lost his much loved wife, Tana, to breast cancer. As the series opens he is dealing with that dreaded disease himself, his being thyroid cancer being treated with beta-blockers. This awareness of his mortality and the eventual inevitability of it does not haunt him but it most definitely gives him an interesting perspective on danger.

With computers playing such an inescapable role in every aspect of modern day life and with huge corporations like those of his law firm's clients needing help on a global level to combat the hordes of hackers wanting to steal, harass, or even destroy, Bruen is kept enormously busy. And then you have to consider governments and their own agendas. Bruen is likely to stay in demand, assuming he can stay alive.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2013
Last Appearance:2014

The first book in the series was released as a serial on the Kindle.

1 The Adversary The Adversary
Written by Reese Hirsch
Copyright: 2013

A group of hackers is extremely upset at the demise of a fellow hacker and blames Chris Bruen. They plan to unleash a major attack and leaks false evidence pointing to Bruen as their leader. Now he is on the run to clear his name and stop their attack.
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2 Intrusion Intrusion
Written by Reese Hirsch
Copyright: 2014

Zapper is the world's most sophisticated search engine and it has been hacked and its algorithms stolen. China is the prime suspect. Chris Bruen is hired to find the truth and get back the data which means he has to travel into Asia and the largest den of cyber-piracy in the world, not to mention a great place to get dead.
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I am a computer programmer by profession and have been one for (yikes!) just over 40 years now, dating back to the days of the PDP-11. I have loved programming throughout that time and could not imagine not do so either as a living or a hobby. I never tried my hand at hacking (game programming was my first love) but I have been fascinated with those who build protections and those who broke them. In that way it was kind of like a game from either side.

In the real world, of course, it is not a game and having had numerous people mess with my website with no possibility of gain other than just having been a jerk, I am not at all in favor of hacking but my fascination remains so this series about a man who goes after cyber-crooks internationally was a blast to read. When he mentioned geek terms, I knew most of them and those I did not were presented in such a way that I did not know if they were real or made up but I did not care - they sounded real.

Considering the profession the author had for so long, I am going with real but again, they sounded real so who cares. It was interesting and I enjoyed them.


My Grade: B+


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