Hooked is a first mystery novel by Matt Richtel, better known as Theiron Heir of the Rudy Park comic strip. The tag for Hooked is "a thriller about love and other addictions" and that it is though hooked you may not be while reading this mystery. This is a competent but oddly non-engaging thriller about the possible dark side of the internet, cell phones, and so on.
This mystery novel is a case of a really good premise, interesting characters, a well-written story but no adrenaline rush and a few minor loose ends. Medical journalist Nat Idle is still grieving the loss of the love of his life in a boating accident. He is sitting in an internet café one day when a woman he believes to be Annie, his dead girlfriend, slips him a note telling him to leave the café now. He does, the café blows up, Nat decides to investigate the explosion and who was the mystery woman who saved his life. The fact Annie was the daughter of an internet tycoon has a lot to do with the story, as do computers, cell phones, Blackberrys, and so on.
Hooked by Matt Richtel is almost a solid thriller especially if you like the conspiracy theory genre. I do not want to reveal too much of the story but do realize how bizarre yet appropriate this review is on an internet mystery site where a potential reader can buy the book, click on a few ads, visit other e-stores, and so on. A good hint though it the book's rather ugly cover.
Unfortunately there is something about Matt Richtel's story and its characters that does not quite enthrall. This may be because there are too many flashback chapters dealing with the love story between Nat and Annie and that gets in the way of the pacing. As for the Hooked's ending, well, I've read more satisfying ones.
Hooked is a case of wait for the paperback so you won't feel like you invested too much in this dot com mystery.