Wearing the Spider by Susan Schaab

Published 10:51 pm Saturday, August 4, 2007

If you like roller coasters and wild rides, then you’ll love this new book by Susan Schaab.

“Wearing the Spider” is one of those books that is like a whirlpool. As you swirl to the center of the book you are sucked into the suspense and there is no way to put it down until you turn the last page. It is that good.

Evie Sullivan is headed for partnership. Her clients love her and she’s got an excellent track record in all her corporate mergers, contracts, patents and the like. Her secretary asks about an expense report. When Evie realizes that it must be a mistake because she couldn’t have stayed at two different hotels, then notices several out of country phone calls on the receipts, she sets it aside as an honest mistake. When her secretary tells her that the people on the other end of those phone numbers said they knew her, she begins to realize that something is not right.

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Soon she regrets not reporting a sexual assault from one of the junior partners, then amid complaints from clients and a couple of partners, she realizes her problems are much deeper than identity theft.

One of the most nefarious crimes that is becoming more and more prevalent is identity theft, and it “occurs in some form every 79 seconds” according to the book’s website.

Author Susan Schaab is an attorney who lives in New York. She’s practiced law for more than eight years in the technology and intellectual property arena. Before law school, she worked in the software development industry as a systems designer and as a consultant. In other words, she knows her stuff, and that really shows in her writing. However, she doesn’t go off the geeky-deep end with technical jargon or high-tech explanations that wouldn’t mean anything to most of us anyway. She gets the point across.

This is a suspense thriller, and it lives up to its category. It is another first-time-author effort, but it doesn’t read that way. Schaab invites you down a path that has been rarely trod these days.

Where John Grisham sometimes veers off into the back alleys of legalities, Schaab’s heroine maintains high ethical standards which is truly refreshing in these days of “relative truths”.

While reading this book, I wondered how such a smart girl could be so gullible at times. Then I realized that when you’ve lived a normal life with the people you work with for several years, it is very hard to believe that one of them might want to kill you. That made this book very believable.

This tangled technology thriller is very easy to read and brings out some astounding facts about computer hijacking that is more than unnerving. Make sure you have plenty of time to read because you won’t be able to close the covers, the suspense will get in your blood and make you forget you have to get up in the morning.

Unfortunately, there is some foul language that is inserted here and there. While I appreciate the attempt at “realism”, there isn’t really a reason for the foul words that reach up from the page and slap you while you are reading. When you’ve read thirty or forty really well written pages, sometimes more, and then suddenly there is this word that leaps off the page, falling from the lips of a professional young lady, it is very startling. Why it was necessary for that character to have a foul mouth, I’m not certain. It didn’t even lend to the depiction of that character, while the foul words falling from the lips of the villain lent a certain rankness to his character that fit well. Still, it is startling to read such well written prose and then stumble over those rocks of dung in the middle of the story line pathway.

Because of those speed bumps in the story flow, I give it four stars.

If you can set that aside, skipping over those words, then you’ll be able to enjoy a good reading experience.

The book can be purchased at our local bookstore, Bell, Book and Candle. It is published by Galavant Press, LLC, 396 pages. You can visit www.wearingthespider.com, or www.susanschaab.com