The chase is on...

Title: At Large

Author: David H. Freedman

Genre: Technology

No. of pages: 320

Rating: 3/5


They sound both cool and scary.

When most people think of a 'hacker' they think of someone in a dark room filled with old pizza boxes, totally focused on their computer screen, tapping away frenetically.

In this book, that is exactly what a hacker is!

At large tells the true story of the chase for a very elusive hacker in the United States that has the FBI, system admins and his family all scratching their heads.

The major advantage this book has is that there are so many perspectives in the book. From the FBI to the hacker himself, we are able to see what's going on at the same time in different locations. This helps us to understand the story from different points of view and because of this, this book doesn't just become about computer jargon, but about other aspects that take place in the investigation such as evidence, prosecution and hacker culture.

Like I said, for me being able to see different perspectives is always a huge thumbs up.

Now what I really liked about this book was that a third of the way through, we knew exactly who the hacker was and therefore we were able to see how he was feeling; his fears, achievements and generally what was going through his head. I still maintain, to prevent a crime, understand what the criminal is thinking, what their motivations are and then seeing if there is a way that you can fill these motivations without committing a crime.

For me, my main issue was that the book was slow. The reason for this I guess is that obviously, investigations take very long, and even though they knew who the suspect was they couldn't arrest them because of jurisdiction and laws and other blockers. But the book was frustratingly slow. It wasn't a book they kept me hooked, I kept reading because it was something that interested me, not because it was riveting.

I would say if you are interested in law or in computers and investigations, then this book is a very interesting read. I mean it will take you a while but I don't doubt you will come away feeling enlightened.


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