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Acts of Vanishing    by Fredrik T. Olsson order for
Acts of Vanishing
by Fredrik T. Olsson
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Fredrik T. Olsson's Acts of Vanishing starts in Stockholm, where we meet code breaker and cyber-security expert William Sandberg, ex-husband to journalist Christina Sandberg. Their marriage did not survive the strain of dealing with their adopted daughter Sara's drug addiction.

William Sandberg used to work for Sweden's military policy, but was encouraged to resign after he began to behave erratically. Now his ex-colleagues are waiting for someone to show up at Stockholm's Central Station - they never expected it would be him. In the station, William is approached by a man with the code word 'Amberlangs' and ordered at gunpoint to accompany him. Then a power outage leaves 'vast tracts of Sweden in total darkness'. That allows William to escape the man trying to kill him, but he's caught by the military police who had been watching for this meet.

Suspected of being part of the ROSETTA terrorist plot, William is interrogated by British SIS Cathryn Forester as well as his old friend Lassie Palmgren, but he has no answers for them. Severe power outages have been hitting coastal cities, central nodes for Internet traffic, around the world. In Warsaw, we see Rebecca Kowalczyk watch her apartment building go up in flames. How is this all connected? William escapes custody, travels to Poland, and tries to find out, while still hoping to find his daughter. Back at home, Christina does what she can to help, as well.

It's a complicated tale, tinged with conspiracy theory. Its intricate premise is centered on the Internet, 'a basket into which society, indeed civilization, had put every single egg ever known to man.' Well worth reading.

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