Finished September 9
The God's Eye View by Barry Eisler, performed by the author
This thriller builds on the Snowden story. Theodore Anders is the director of the NSA and he wants to know everything about everyone, so he can "keep America safe". But he is so used to having control that when he finds he has lost it, he will take extreme measures to regain it.
Evelyn Gallagher works as a computer analyst at the NSA and has been the primary creator of a program that draws images from cameras around the work and applies biometrics to them to look for patterns and anomalies. When she sees two people together who shouldn't be in normal circumstances, she reports it. But when something happens to those two people shortly afterward, she begins to wonder if the director has taken steps beyond legal limits. She also wonders what she can do, and who she can tell, and if she herself is in danger. These are all good questions, She is a single mom, struggling to make a good life for her deaf son Dash. When she meets Manus, a kind man at a baseball game, and he is deaf, she finds herself drawn to him. Is she thinking of Dash or is something else attracting her.
Manus has his own issues, including an extremely difficult childhood, and an unswerving loyalty to the person who took him out of the negative trajectory he was on and sent him in a different direction. The feelings he begins to have for Evie and Dash are new to him, and he isn't sure how to interpret them.
As Anders grows more desperate and takes more and more extreme actions, we also learn just how much access he has to people's lives and their secrets. This is a scary view of the world of security and intelligence and one that seems increasingly possible.
This book offers scenarios that are terrifying, and there is lots of violence in the plot. But the people and their motivations are well drawn, and I was both mesmerized and horrified as I listened.