Eaves Drop
by James A. Landry
Lettra Press LLC

"That is surface Luke at the shallow end, but the deep end is darker."

In 1991, we meet four seemingly normal suburbanites. Stone is a damaged man with secrets. His strained marriage to Kat and work travels frequently tempt him to stray. Kat, with secrets too, laments her former dancing years and now works as a data security analyst, where she closely monitors neighbor and information science consultant, Luke. While Kat confides to Luke’s wife, Annie, about marriage, she remains cautious of Luke, who is creepy. He hides a clandestine computer network in the “greenish effulgence of his basement room” and moves secretly through trap doors within his house. Annie is naive to Luke’s nefarious activities, taking pleasure in her eavesdropping of the neighborhood after discovering signals from the baby monitor.

While Annie listens to this personal soap opera, Luke slithers deeper into unhealthy infatuations. In quiet rage and obsession, his attention shifts to Kat, where a seductive “dark guilt” consumes him. A Jekyll and Hyde nature emerges from his “peacefully invasive” slip in cyberspace. While he portrays the “soul of the man” Annie can recognize, his voyeuristic tendencies heighten and unsettling desires uncoil. This unfurls into reality, eventually compelling Luke toward shocking choices. Readers witness the inevitable as four ill-fated lives converge with chilling and terrible consequences.

Landry prefaces his techno-thriller with an overview of the birth, infancy, and rise of the internet with a reminder that there’s “no centralized governance” of it. Although the book’s periodic grammar issues and explicitly mature themes can be distracting, Landry’s work shines as a cautionary tale that examines our behaviors in a technology-driven world. It is a disturbing, Hitchcockian story that explores the ideologies of cyberspace, escapism, and illusions of safety and privacy. Here, Landry probes the dangers of reality versus fantasy and justifications of awful decisions in an alarming, compulsive read.

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