BlogTour: The Tempus Project by Antony Johnston
A big thank you to Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and providing a copy of the book.
In The Exphoria Code, MI6 officer and elite hacker Brigitte Sharp foiled a terror attack on London that used stolen military drone software to deliver a ‘dirty bomb’.
Now Bridge is back, battling a series of hacks and ransom-ware attacks, masterminded by a hacker known only as ‘Tempus’, who is targeting politicians and government officials with impunity.
Discovering that this campaign is linked to a cyber-attack on the London G20 summit, she is drawn into the dark-web world of crypto-currencies, Russian hackers and an African rebel militia.
In another compelling cyber-thriller from the creator of Atomic Blonde, Bridge races against time to prevent a disaster that could alter the balance of global power forever.
We first meet Brigitte Sharp (Bridge) in Johnston’s first novel, The Exphoria Code – and my, what an introduction it is. With her elite computer skills and intense special training, Sharp is the ideal agent to be sent into the field, and she soon finds herself undercover in Europe, hunting out moles and taking names along the way. At the very last minute, Sharp foils a terrorist attack attempting to use hacked military drone software to deliver a dirty bomb; but this takes its toll on her nerves, and the safety of her family.
The Tempus Project starts with the aftermath of the previous book: Sharp is up for promotion for her heroic antics (but still hindered by the old-fashioned attitudes of the ‘old boy’ network of men in charge), but the celebration is bittersweet; her family are no longer on speaking terms with her. They had a strained relationship anyway, but after almost getting killed, Sharp’s family have decided they want nothing more to do with her.
Sharp is a complex character, and author Johnston reveals more and more of these complexities in this book, as Sharp finds herself in unprecedented circumstances and increasing danger. Johnston also explores the more vulnerable side of Sharp; family dynamics, her struggles in a male-dominated field, the responsibility imbued on her by her team, and her own personal conflict between being in charge but not having things go your way. Things come to a head when Sharp and her team are charged with chaperoning a journalist fleeing Estonia with information pertaining to a secret hacking group financed by the Russians; things go terribly, terribly wrong and Sharp is demoted as team leader, her reputation in tatters.
When a hacking attempt is made on attendees at a G20 summit in London, Sharp sees the connections between the code used for this hack, and the code used for a previous hack on a prominent British politician. Sharp also connects the dots to the information provided by the fleeing journalist – but with the last of her reputation pretty much gone, Sharp faces a cruel choice: go rogue and risk her career, or sit back and let events unfold as they are.
Author Johnston balances action and technology well in his writing, making sense of tech- and cyber- concepts in a way that is exciting and refreshing. By carefully balancing the live-action and the cyber-action, Johnston has crafted an overall explosive thriller that excites on many levels, from physical seat-of-the-pants action to the conspiracy-esque delight of potentially revealing Government secrets. Johnston’s writing is more confident, as is his character and plot development, and I look forward to further books in this series.
About the Author
Antony Johnston is a New York Times bestselling writer. The Charlize Theron movie Atomic Blonde is based on his graphic novel; his Brigitte Sharp thriller novels are critically acclaimed; and his first videogame, Dead Space, redefined its genre.
Antony’s books, graphic novels, and videogames include The Exphoria Code, The Tempus Project, The Fuse, Daredevil, Shang-Chi, Shadow of Mordor, the Alex Rider graphic novels and the adaptation of Alan Moore‘s ‘lost screenplay’ Fashion Beast.
He lives in Lancashire.