Author: Randall Jarmon
Publisher: Mikvelk Publishing, LLC
In The Dalhart Pursuit, Randall Jarmon's protagonist, Greg Dalhart is an unbelievable brilliant software engineer and probably one of the best of his generation. An attestation to his brilliance is his ability to use daunting mathematical techniques to predict events in the same way as an actuary. It was this knowledge that enabled him to design software that could track down any fugitive no matter where he or she may be hiding. The software, initially, was meant to track down kidnapped children, however, as we shall discover, this was only a camouflage for something even more dramatic.
As the story unfolds, we learn Dalhart is about to sell his software and regrettably he really doesn't care who purchases it and what they do with it even if it means putting the freedom of Americans in danger. The first company to meet Dalhart's lofty price was GlimmerSeek and as a result of the sale he becomes a multimillionaire. The original name given to the software by Dalhart was Rescuer which the purchasing company changes to OverWatch.
GlimmerSeek runs into some financial difficulties and needs to raise three hundred million dollars to meet their last payment to Dalhart as no conventional lender will loan money to the company to pay the second installment. The company's Director of Security, Derek Acelet, codenamed Flogger, contacts a middleman, known as the Gatekeeper, who for a hefty fee, will direct him to three private investors, two of whom are halfway criminals, while the third is probably a criminal and could become very dangerous if disappointed. There was, however, one important stipulation, that there must be a “comforting assurance” that the software worked. Flogger is informed by Gatekeeper that the assurance needed by these people is really not much, he just has to kill Greg Dalhart. In addition, and this bothered Acelet, Dalhart's system had to be sold to the U.S. Government, as once the government understood its national security implications, they would not let anyone else purchase it. Jarmon now sets the stage for the ensuing chilling pursuit which begins with Acelet framing Dalhart in a way that he appears to be a serial killer and is now on the run. The premise is that if Overwatch catches Dalhart, then GlimmerSeek can boast that the software is as good as they claimed it to be and will be able to reap humongous profits.
When Dalhart's laptop computer shows up without him on a boat in Florida, Inspector Jill Brennan, who worked in the Florida State Treasury's Tax Fraud Unit and is considered one of the best investigators in the Florida State Civil Service, is recruited to track him down. Her specialty is solving computer crimes and she is asked to break into Dalhart's computer and figure out where he is hiding. She eventually finds out that Dalhart could not have committed these crimes and is innocent. She sends a message to the Governor of Florida concerning her findings, unfortunately, however, he never receives the message as the woman in charge of OverWatch, who incidentally is Flogger's nerdy sister and calls herself Maven, intercepts it.
In time Brennan meets up with Dalhart and yes folks, believe it or not, the couple fall in love and are now both being pursued by the good and bad guys. Dalhart turns out to be quite a foxy fellow whom Flogger totally underestimated, not only is he brilliant but also he has learned from a close adult friend how to avoid being caught if he were ever in a situation where escape skills would come in handy. Incidentally, and as a side note, Dalhart's parents had fled East German tyranny, literally running across a desolate stretch of border with West Germany.
As the narrative builds, this intelligent thriller blossoms with an entertaining cast of characters, although some are a trifle beyond belief. Its contrived plot manages to amuse even baffling readers in ascertaining who actually is the story's hero and villain? In the end, readers are forcefully pushed forward towards an unanticipated climax replete with some staggering scenes and engrossing discourses concerning government electronic surveillance. The result is that readers are challenged and forced to think which all makes for some captivating reading and perhaps even interesting debates around the dinner table.