Under the Cloud
by B.R. Erlank
call themselves The Settlement Bureau. A faceless, soulless organization
coercing individuals with threats to expose their improprieties and
vulnerabilities. Inhumanely persistent, they’ve secretly driven hundreds of
victims into bankruptcy, despair – and several even to suicide.
But when this organization tries to blackmail IT expert Terry Reynolds, they make a serious mistake. Terry is down on his luck. He is penniless, divorced and in a dead-end job. Yet, the abuse of his personal information stirs Terry out of his lethargy and he fights back. He embarks on a digital game of cat-and-mouse with the cold, calculating minds behind The Settlement Bureau – and in doing so, uncovers a sprawling criminal conspiracy.
Under The Cloud is a chillingly plausible new thriller by B.R. Erlank. With a plot ripped straight from the headlines, advance readers warn, “this book delivers a roller coaster ride right up to the final pages.”
Rajiv looked Terry directly in the eyes, “Tell me, how would you use our tools and data to improve the risk management at a bank?”
Terry walked to the window from where he could see the Bank of America pyramid in the fading light. Down below, cars and people were bustling along the street. Lights in various glass towers twinkled in random geometric patterns. Not random, Terry thought, in fact, quite the opposite.
He said, “What if I told you that it is entirely predictable when each light in that apartment complex will be turned on?”
Rajiv made an encouraging gesture.
“It’s really quite simple. All you need is to cross-reference the identities of the occupants with their smartphone or Fitbit geo data. If you then pulled in data from their car or even air travel, you could get longer-range predictions. Imagine what that could do for security and law enforcement. If anyone doesn’t show up where they’re supposed to be, instantaneous action can be taken.
“Now imagine the same principles applied to managing banking risk. By analyzing the individual's personal and professional issues, you can update the risk profile in real-time. A car accident, job loss, an expensive health issue in the family, a child having to repeat a year at college. These are all predictors of financial risk. But to date, it simply hasn’t been possible to integrate that data fast enough to be meaningful. Well, now it is – we make it possible.”
Rajiv slowly clapped his hands and said, “Do it exactly like that tonight.”
Terry gaped, “What? Me?”
“You come across fresh, unrehearsed, authentic – that’s exactly what I want for the presentation to the bank.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Boris Erlank grew up in Southern Africa. He has lived and worked in places as diverse as Luanda, Cape Town, Singapore and San Francisco. Boris recently gave up his job as Global Privacy Manager with a Fortune 100 company to focus on writing full-time.
He has an extensive background in IT, data privacy and cybersecurity, and has drawn on that experience to craft his latest novel, Under the Cloud. His previous novel, Catch You Later, is a murder mystery set in Cape Town.
Boris lives with his family and two dogs in the foothills of Mount Diablo, east of San Francisco. He likes to cycle and hike. “Those solitary pursuits give me time to dream up the characters and plots for my novels,” he says. Boris also enjoys choir singing, travel, and listening to audiobooks.
Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3nH9JNa
The book will be $0.99 from November 15 - November 22.
Erlank will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn
winner via rafflecopter during the tour.