Corsair by James L Cambias
In the early 2020s, two young, genius computer hackers, Elizabeth Santiago and David Schwartz, meet at MIT, where Schwartz is sneaking into classes, and have a brief affair. David is amoral and out for himself, and soon disappears. Elizabeth dreams of technology and space travel and takes a military job after graduating. Nearly ten years later, David is setting himself to become a billionaire by working in the shadows under a multiplicity of names for international thieves, and Elizabeth works in intelligence preventing international space piracy. With robotic mining in space becoming a lucrative part of Earth’s economy, shipments from space are dropped down the gravity well into the oceans. David and Elizabeth fight for dominance of the computer systems controlling ore drop placement in international waters. If David can nudge a shipment 500 miles off its target, his employers can get there first and claim it legally in the open sea. Each one intuits that the other is their real competition but can’t prove it. And when Elizabeth loses a major shipment, she leaves government employ to work for a private space company to find a better way to protect shipments. But international piracy has very high stakes and some very evil players. And both Elizabeth and David end up in a world of trouble.
Elizabeth is concentrating on her military career when she finds out that her new boyfriend is actually a thief. Years later, David is infamous space pirate, and Elizabeth tries to take him down. But David’s latest benefactor has a secret plan that no one sees coming.
Corsair is a thrilling, science fiction novel that would make a great action movie. With engaging characters, unique future tech, and an exciting fast-paced mystery, this was a hard one to put down. The suspense builds to a surprising finale with plenty of twists. This is another great standalone novel from a talented author.