The Florentine Deception, by Carey Nachenberg, A Review

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It was just an old computer, one his father picked up at an estate sale. It should have taken a few hours to clean so his dad could donate it. But how could Alex Fife resist taking a peek at what it held. After all, the owner was dead. Along with his friend Stephen, he looks to see the last entries the owner had made.

What he finds sends him on a treasure hunt that soon becomes a race to stop an attack that could bring down nations.


Serendipity comes to mind, though I think more often the word is used in a lighter context. Had Alex not looked at the dead man’s email, how would the world have changed in those few weeks since?

Alex Fife is young and wealthy. After selling his start up computer security software, he has money for anything he wants. Still he is ready for a new challenge, besides his climbing obsession.

When his perusal finds that the owner was trying to sell the “Florentine” through the black market, he is instantly intrigued. Was it a diamond? Another gem? How did the deceased man get it? Multiple buyers want the Florentine. Most of them have no problem killing to get it.

It is an adventure that takes you deep into the sphere of the digital and perhaps even deeper climbing in an actual cave. Both are risky and life threatening.

The characters in the novel are terrific. Good friends, a potential romantic relationship, climbing friends, contacts, all relate well and realistically. It would be difficult not to like Alex and his problem solving skills!

The Dangerous Reality of Technology

As a cyber thriller, The Florentine Deception, paints another all too possible scenario. Just as biological warfare could decimate the population, so might a virus affect computers nation or world wide. The premise never fails to be intriguing because the technology is advancing so rapidly.

What is striking to me as well, is the ability of some to find the viruses and stop them. Considering how much of our lives are now controlled or influenced by computers, think of effect a scenario such as in this book would have in our lives—in our country.

The Author

Carey Nachenberg definitely has the knowledge needed for this techno thriller. He was one of the co authors of Norton Security. Nearly everyone who has a computer will know that name. His awareness of security for all technology makes this story all the more conceivable.

Don’t be worried about too much technology in the book. The reader will have no problem comprehending what is happening. The author keeps it very understandable.

It all fits together to become an exciting, frightening story that will alert you to the possibility. Read it, and give thought to what you would do if it were to happen.

The Audio

It was such a pleasure listening to The Florentine Deception in audio, narrated by Nick Podehl. Mr. Podehl is a popular narrator who manages the variety of voices and ages well.  The book runs about ten and a half hours, unabridged.  It went so fast.  Audiobooks are always a wonderful way to ‘read’ more.  I was able to stay tuned in to the book til the end, since i could listen while I was driving and baking.  You can listen to a sample of the book here on Audible.  However you read (or listen) to this fine book, don’t miss it!  Engrossing story leaving plenty to consider.

The Tour

Book Description for The Florentine Deception:

A seemingly mundane computer clean-up leads to an electrifying quest for an enigmatic—and deadly—treasure in this gripping techno-thriller.

After selling his dorm-room startup for millions and effectively retiring at the age of twenty-five, Alex Fife is eager for a new challenge. When he agrees to clean up an old PC as a favor, he never expects to find the adventure of a lifetime waiting for him inside the machine. But as he rummages through old emails, Alex stumbles upon a startling discovery: The previous owner, a shady antiques smuggler, had been trying to unload a mysterious object known as the Florentine on the black market. And with the dealer’s untimely passing, the Florentine is now unaccounted for and ripe for the taking. Alex dives headfirst into a hunt for the priceless object.

What starts out as a seemingly innocuous pursuit quickly devolves into a nightmare when Alex discovers the true technological nature of the Florentine. Not just a lost treasure, it’s something far more insidious: a weapon that could bring the developed world to its knees. Alex races through subterranean grottos, freezing morgues, and hidden cellars in the dark underbelly of Los Angeles, desperate to find the Florentine before it falls into the wrong hands. Because if nefarious forces find it first, there’ll be nothing Alex—or anyone else—can do to prevent a catastrophic attack.

The author is donating all of his proceeds from sales of The Florentine Deception to charities to help underprivileged and low-income students.

1,620 books sold, $8,173.00 donated as of December 31st (with $182 pending)!

Let’s help him reach his goal of selling 2,000 books and donating $10,000!
Visit to see the list of charities.

Buy the audiobook: Amazon ~ Audible
Buy the book: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Carey Nachenberg

Author’s Bio:

Carey Nachenberg is Symantec Corporation’s Chief Engineer and is considered one of the inventors of Norton AntiVirus. As Chief Engineer, Carey drives the technical strategy for all of Symantec’s core security technologies and security content. He has led the design and development of Symantec’s core antivirus, intrusion prevention and reputation-based security technologies; his work in these areas have garnered over eighty-five United States patents.

In addition to his work in the cyber-security field, Carey has also recently published his first novel, a cyber-security thriller entitled “The Florentine Deception,” and is donating all proceeds from sales of the novel to charities supporting underserved students and veterans. Carey holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from University of California at Los Angeles, where he continues to serve as Adjunct Professor of Computer Science.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook

Book Trailer




Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry Citarella

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  1. Thanks so much for the kind review and for mentioning my charity effort! I’m so glad you enjoyed the adventure!


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