Project NEEDLENOSE by David W. Zacharias

Published: August 7, 2021


I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

David W. Zacharias is a 38-year veteran of the software engineering and management business, supporting military, space, and intelligence applications for the DoD. He developed software for a space-based surveillance system while earning a Master of Science degree in Computer Science at The Pennsylvania State University. Subsequent projects have included spacecraft telemetry simulation, military weapon control systems, fighter jet guidance and control, and covert communication systems. Project NEEDLENOSE, his debut novel, offers a fictionalized glimpse into the world of software development for highly-classified defense systems, and the brilliant (and often eccentric) engineers who inhabit it. Now retired, Mr. Zacharias travels the world with his wife, marveling at the accelerating pace of technological evolution.

“The die was cast.”

A team is assembled for a top-secret project. The strengths and stakes are high, and the trust should have been. All it takes is someone’s greed to get the better of them- what is the cost of security?

There is a lot of technical terminology in this novel that was way over my head. Between the tech stuff and the naval operations, there was a bit that I didn’t fully understand. But underneath that is a really great story with deeply thought out characters and clearly defined plot points that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I found the characters well done. They were all memorable in their way, and their personalities were clearly developed. I enjoyed the inner dialogue and the way strengths and weaknesses were utilized.

The complexities that come with power were an excellent dynamic in this novel. I loved the way humanity is displayed, both the good and the bad. The pacing is on the slower side, but you don’t notice because so much is happening, and you get captivated by the journey.

This is not my typical genre, but I did enjoy the storyline. I was wrong about the twist, which made my jaw drop. The level of betrayal and deceit is so twisted and so deep, and it plays out right on the page. You will feel as though you have the access to know things the average American doesn’t, and you will also be aware that the cost is high.

A devious slow burn that will draw you in and hold you, hostage, this is a fantastic read at 20,000 feet.

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