Reece is the author of five thrillers that draw upon his background as a privacy attorney. Black Nowhere is the first in a new series featuring FBI Special Agent Lisa Tanchik, who investigates cybercrime. His first book, The Insider, was a finalist for the 2011 International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. His next three books, The Adversary, Intrusion, and Surveillance, all feature former Department of Justice cybercrimes prosecutor Chris Bruen. Hirsch is a partner in the San Francisco office of an international law firm and cochair of its privacy and cybersecurity practice. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation (www.valentinoachakdeng.org).
Reece has been listed in Chambers USA: America's Best Lawyers for Business since 2005. He earned his law degree from the University of Southern California and a B.S. degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Prior to law school, Reece worked as a journalist in Atlanta for several years, including a stint as an assistant editor of a business magazine. He also edited and published an arts and entertainment magazine in Atlanta.
Reece is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the International Association of Thriller Writers, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern California chapter of MWA.
|All the novels you've written draw from your professional background in security and privacy, and BLACK NOWHERE is the fifth that you've written. Is there a theme that runs through your books?|
|Lisa Tanchik, for much of the novel, comes off as very confident and sure of herself, but at the beginning of the novel, she expresses that she struggles with depression and a prior history of substance abuse. What type of character—or, perhaps specifically, what type of woman—were you hoping to convey as you developed her character?|
In its efforts to remake itself to combat cybercrime, there were some at the FBI who supported her and brought her along through the ranks because the Bureau needed her technical skills. But there are still old-school elements within the FBI that don't know what to do with someone like her. In BLACK NOWHERE, investigating the Dark Web marketplace known as Kyte, Lisa finally gets an opportunity to show what she can do, using her knowledge of the online underworld. It turns out that Special Agent Lisa Tanchik is a badass, just a different sort of badass than the FBI has seen before.
|Nate Fallon presents an interesting paradox for readers. On the one hand, he is the "villain" of the story, as he's the one who's masterminded this website that the FBI is trying so hard to bring down. And yet, as even Lisa observes at times, Nate seems relatable and even likeable—his intentions aren't evil, but the manifestation of his desires happens to have a sinister outcome. What do you make of him as a character? Is he meant to be "good" or "evil" or somewhere in between?|
The character of Nate also gave me an opportunity to explore the psychology of the founder of a fantastically successfully Silicon Valley start-up. In many ways, the arc of Nate's story resembles that of Steve Jobs and the other titans of the tech industry that he wants to emulate—with the key difference that Kyte happens to be a criminal enterprise.
|For readers who are less knowledgeable about the sheer depths of the Internet, how true-to-life are the depictions of the so-called "Dark Web" in this novel? What sorts of research did you have to do on the subject as you were preparing to write?|
|The subject of BLACK NOWHERE is particularly relevant today, as the country deals with large-scale drug crises, particularly surrounding opioids. How do you think this book contributes to the ongoing dialog about drug use in America?|
|We have to ask—what are you working on next? Are you planning more stories for the Lisa Tanchik character? What can you tease for readers who are already eagerly anticipating your next book?|