The Pixel Eye by Paul Levinson
Dr. Phil D’Amato is a forensic pathologist for the New York Police Department. In these days post 9/11 security is tight and people get nervous easily. Currently he is investigating a squirrel shortage. Excuse me? Repeat that, please? There don’t seem to be as many squirrels in Central Park as there should be. Also, an inordinate amount of hamsters are being bought or stolen. He quickly learns about an experiment with hamsters. There is technology now that with some implants hamsters can be turned into organic tape recorders. But what about squirrels? No, they work with hamsters.
As he investigates he runs into an old acquaintance. Frank Catania used to be at the NYPD but now works for the FBI and Homeland Security. He has connections with the hamster lab. Catania brings D’Amato in on the experiments, showing D’Amato more than he would have thought possible. When D’Amato comes face to face with himself he knows there is some serious security research going on. But the squirrels still aren’t explained. When D’Amato starts hearing rumors about squirrels being used as organic cameras he has to keep digging.
This is an enthralling easy read. Paul Levinson takes an intriguing thriller and throws in the possibilities of science. Are the advances he describes really in the works? This is fiction, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a kernel of fact. Using implants in the brains of hamsters to make them organic tape recorders is Big Brother type scary. This novel deals with public security in these days with the specter of terrorism hanging over us. The Pixel Eye tackles the problems Americans have with giving up individual freedom to be more secure.
D’Amato is a realistic character. This is a first person narrative so the reader knows the conflicts and confusions he has as he proceeds through the novel. We understand his inner arguments. We get to see his off-work side as well. Like the previous two Phil D’Amato books I thoroughly enjoyed The Pixel Eye. It’s a thoughtful thriller I can recommend.
Although I borrowed this from the library, I wouldn’t be surprised if The Pixel Eye appears on my personal shelves sometime in the future.