Has working on a project ever made you so mad that you wanted to commit murder? Has one demagogue in a power position seemed bent on sabotaging your project? Have you been forced to lead a project that you knew was destined to crash and burn? If so, you can relate to the protagonist in my new novel, Killer Code, a murder mystery set in a Silicon Valley networking company desperate to release its latest product.
As far as I know, Killer Code is the first murder mystery set in the Silicon Valley. I used my 20 years of experience in the high tech industry to shape a fictionalized account of a company in crisis and the effects the situation had on its employees. These are a colorful array of characters who, while made up, may seem similar to people that most of you have met during your careers. They include the hard charging sales guy, the egotistical software architect, the visionary CEO, the resentful team member who was passed over for promotion, the outside board members who seem determined to make the company fail, and the engineers and other staff who work long and hard just to get the job done.
Casey Mannis, the protagonist, is a Silicon Valley drop out with a long and checkered career. In his past, Casey had held important positions in a variety of companies and even founded a start-up that made him rich for a short period of time. Complicated circumstances in his life force him to take a job that he knows is destined for failure. He has only a few weeks to lead a software team in releasing a product.
One of the principal obstacles to success is Martin Bentoff, the company founder, brilliant software architect, and corporate sociopath. Other challenges include petty jealousy within the team, a corporate take-over threat, a police investigation, and Casey’s own antipathy towards the impossible demands made by a struggling company in the 21st century global economy. And one last thing is thrown into this fiendish project management mix: a murder!
Anyone who has managed a project for a high tech company will recognize Casey. He’s the kind of guy who will sacrifice himself to get the project done. Once, in his younger days, he went to work at 8:00 in the morning and came home at 7:00 PM, three days later! Stunts like that had ruined his marriage and distanced himself from his pre-teen aged daughter, something he vows not to let happen to his new relationship. In the midst of murder and mayhem, Casey has to balance the demands of his work and personal life while somehow keeping his sense of humor.
I think this story will ring true to anyone who has worked as a project manager in the high tech world.
You can order Killer Code from www.Amazon.com and get more information on the novel at www.killercodethenovel.com