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About the Book
Twenty-year-old computer genius Jake Klein, known to his friends as JK, drops out of college to pursue fortune and fame in the field of cybersecurity.
Discovering and upending a conspiracy between the presidents of Russia and America to manipulate the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, JK finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the heads of state of two of the world’s most powerful countries—with the emphasis on deadly. Revealing the truth to the world definitely comes with a price.
The fourth in the bestselling Brooks/Lotello novels, JK’s Code is a political thriller teeming with real-time events, satire, suspense, and just a hint of romance that couldn’t come any closer to the realities of 2020 if JK were covertly dividing his time between the White House and the Kremlin—which he may just be…
Now an Instant #1 Amazon Bestseller!
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR JK’s CODE
JK’s Code is tense, timely and terrific!
JK’s Code is shockingly relevant, an action-packed thriller that mirrors our political turmoil with frightening accuracy.
JK’s Code is this generation’s acclaimed and influential War Games. Ronald S. Barak’s prescient, perfectly timed, and polished thriller takes current events and somehow makes them even more terrifying than they already are. Politics is no fun at all these days, unless Barak is the one writing about it. JK’s Code is a political thriller extraordinaire!
An electrifying blend of political, techno, and international thriller genres, JK’s Code is the most timely adventure you’ll read this year. Jake “JK” Klein is Ron Barak’s best hero yet, a cool young hacker able to go toe-to-toe and keyboard-to-keyboard with the nastiest and deadliest world leaders. Will JK make it through unscathed? Humorous, often satirical, and always exciting, make JK’s Code your next read.
Keen research and high-tech suspense drives Ronald S. Barak’s new thriller, JK’s Code; an incredibly timely political thriller about election fraud and the technology behind it, you’ll wonder where reality ends and the fiction begins.
Smart, speedy, and suspenseful, JK’s Code is a flat out great read. My favorite kind of book: characters you care about, a story ripped from the headlines, and a pace that doesn’t let up. The definition of a thriller!
Ronald S. Barak’s JK’s Code is both timely and timeless, and did I mention…terrific? Timely because election fraud is the heart of the story. Timeless because it’s a classic thriller laced with suspense and intrigue. Terrific because it brings back Judge Cyrus Brooks, homicide detective Frank Lotello and attorney Leah Klein, to aid Leah’s tech-savvy kid brother, JK, who uncovers a chilling conspiracy between the Kremlin and the White House, only to find himself in dire straits. If the raucous runup to the actual 2020 presidential election has been driving you to drink, JK’s Code will be your perfect nightcap.
JK’s Code draws from the headlines of 2020 to create a political Armageddon scenario that won’t be soon forgotten. This suspenseful thriller kept me turning pages deep into the night.
If you blended Dan Brown’s conspiratorial storytelling with Brad Meltzer’s political potboiler, you might end up with Ronald S. Barak’s JK’s CODE—but the novel is all its own. Both chillingly topical and as fast as an Indy racer on ice, treat yourself to this thrill ride of a mystery.”
JK’s Code is a book that will captivate readers well beyond the 2020 election. With the exception of Stephen King, Barak is now the first three-time “best of the year” Best Thrillers Magazine honoree. JK’s Code is a really exceptional novel.
The Brooks/Lotello thriller novels are immediately likeable and pack a bone-jarring punch. In JK’s Code, an unparalleled real-time election fraud political thriller, Barak swings for the fences and knocks it out of the park.
Ron Barak delivers timely stories that capture the moment, and JK’s Code is no exception. Packed with dark humor, gripping twists and thrilling turns, the latest book in the Brooks/Lotello series is bound to keep you entertained.
A Note From Ron:
FOR THOSE OF YOU kind enough to read JK’s Code, please keep in mind that this novel is pure fiction—meant to entertain, and to poke a little fun at our representatives in Washington, D.C. at the same time. Think Saturday Night Live and not the op-ed section of your favorite newspaper.
I’m a thriller novelist, and a courtroom trial lawyer, not a political scientist. I try to write timely and tense mysteries and suspense novels, with a bit of biting satire and humor thrown in. Timely means what is going on in the world around us today. Tense means readers will want to read just one more chapter before turning out their reading light, but maybe not their night light.
Can I lace tension with a modicum of humor—often at my own expense? I believe so.
Can I call upon my roots as a trial lawyer and as a political junkie following those who think they are running our country—without taking myself, or them, too seriously? At least not as seriously as our political “leaders” take themselves? I think I can. At least I try. Some go so far as to recognize that I am trying. Very trying.
Keep Scrolling for More Excerpts!
SOMETHING WAS CRAWLING UP his leg, chewing at his consciousness as well as his skin. He violently slapped at it, heard it scurry away in the darkness, but couldn’t see it. It wasn’t from the hood that no longer covered his head. When he opened his eyes, it was still pitch black.
Excerpt from Chapter 1
It had been years since he had used the code he’d devised to impress his older sister and that she’d christened after his own nickname—JK. He wondered whether she would still remember JK’s Code, and how it worked.
The first email had read:
HOPE YOU’RE WELL. WE NEED TO CATCH UP.
The second email had read:
BUKAR ABCIM U-
He had been forced to split the message in two parts. As it was, he hadn’t had time to finish the second email.
On its face, the beginning of the first email was perfectly innocent. His captors would not know it had a double meaning. He could only hope Leah would, and would apply JK’s Code to translate DEAR SIS! into DIRE SOS! To tell her that he was in trouble—serious trouble. Signing it with his formal name rather than his favored nickname was intended to signal something was amiss.
Jake hated having to send the two emails to her, having to be dependent on anyone, especially on his sister, who still treated him like he was a child instead of a twenty-year-old man. The last time he and Leah had spoken—three months earlier—he lost his temper and essentially told her to leave him alone. He didn’t think he needed anyone’s help. He was wrong.
And he was scared.
Listen to the Audiobook Excerpt!
The REAL witch hunt has begun…
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 71
April 14, 2020, Three Days Later
FRANKLIN KELSEY WAS ONE of the country’s wealthiest arch conservatives. He supported any number of right-wing causes and organizations, both directly and as the founder of the companion Red Crier Magazine and Red Crier Online. He was one of President Baker’s five largest donors. Without any byline, the following identical “news” bulletin copy appeared in the April 14, 2020, weekly and daily issues of Red Crier Magazine and Red Crier Online:
IN AN EXCLUSIVE FROM AN ANONYMOUS SOURCE NOT AUTHORIZED TO SPEAK BECAUSE OF THE SENSITIVITY OF THE MATTER, IT WAS CONFIRMED TO RED CRIER TODAY THAT JAKE KLEIN, AN ACCOMPLISHED COMPUTER SCIENCES MAJOR AT SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY, HAS REPORTEDLY DEVELOPED SOPHISTICATED SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY THAT HE PLANS TO USE TO ALTER THE UPCOMING NOVEMBER ELECTION RESULTS IN FAVOR OF SEVERAL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES, INCLUDING LOGAN SULLIVAN, EXPECTED TO SOON LOCK UP ENOUGH PRIMARY DELEGATES TO BECOME THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT. ONE OF KLEIN’S PROFESSORS AT SCSU, MATTHEW CARTER, WHO HAS CLOSELY MENTORED KLEIN AND IS KNOWN TO BE A LEADING PROGRESSIVE MEMBER OF SCSU, TOLD RED CRIER THAT KLEIN, WHOSE COMMAND OF COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY IS UNPARALLELED, IS SOMEWHAT OF A LONER, BUT HAS SHARED WITH CARTER HIS STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE REELECTION OF PRESIDENT BAKER. “IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME THAT HE WOULD DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS,” CARTER SAID. THE OFFICE OF STUDENT AFFAIRS AT THE UNIVERSITY SAID THAT THE PRIVACY RIGHTS OF ITS STUDENTS PRECLUDE IT FROM COMMENTING ON A STORY LIKE THIS. KLEIN HIMSELF HAS REFUSED TO COMMENT.
The wire services declined to carry the unsubstantiated news bulletin. However, the story was trending on Twitter and Facebook, and comments were running two to one against Klein. Some of the comments against him were quite inflammatory, but were not removed by either of the social media platforms. Facebook explained that in the absence of clear and immediate threats of bodily injury, the right of free speech of all members must be respected.
When asked about the story in his press conference this afternoon, President Baker said, and shortly thereafter repeated on his Twitter account, “I know all about this guy. It’ll take a lot more than Jerky Jake to stop me from being reelected, but that doesn’t lessen the seriousness of his treacherous and treasonous conduct. Nothing is more important than the right of our citizens to know that the elections of our public officials are carried out with integrity and without fraudulent and undue influence.”
The enemy of my enemy is my . . . friend?
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 73
April 16, 2020, One Day Later
BIANCHI HAD NEVER HEARD of this Jake Klein character. At least not that she could recall. She had just finished meeting with Simon Lefevre, the chair of the DNC. Klein’s name did not appear anywhere in their database or computer system. He was a non-entity, as far as the DNC could tell. Lefevre had assured her that he would promptly put out an appropriate release. He had. Bianchi read it:
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE HEADQUARTERS
APRIL 16, 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE DISAVOWS ANY SUGGESTION THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL BY THE NAME OF JAKE KLEIN HAS, OR EVER HAS HAD, ANY DEALINGS OR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. AT NO TIME HAS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENGAGED IN ANY COMPUTER MISBEHAVIOR TO CONTROL THE OUTCOME OF THE PENDING ELECTIONS. NOT WITH MR. KLEIN, NOR ANYONE ELSE. THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WILL BEAT PRESIDENT BAKER FAIR AND SQUARE THIS COMING NOVEMBER.
THE NEWS BULLETIN RELEASED EARLIER THIS WEEK BY RED CRIER IS WHOLLY UNSUBSTANTIATED AND PURE FABRICATION, SOMETHING THAT OUR OPPONENT WOULD LABEL “FAKE NEWS.” WE NOTE THAT RED CRIER IS A CONSERVATIVE PUBLICATION FOUNDED BY FRANKLIN KELSEY WHO IS ONE OF PRESIDENT BAKER’S LARGEST DONORS.
THE DNC HAS NO IDEA WHO MR. KLEIN IS, BUT SUSPECTS THAT HE IS A CO-CONSPIRATOR IN THIS INSIDIOUS SCHEME, OR IS ANOTHER ONE OF ITS INNOCENT VICTIMS. THE DNC NEITHER HAS, NOR HEREAFTER WILL, ENGAGE IN ANY COMMUNICATION OR DEALINGS WITH MR. KLEIN, OR ANYONE CLAIMING TO BE MR. KLEIN, OR TO BE ACTING ON HIS BEHALF.
* * *
BAKER READ THE DNC press release and laughed. “Perfect. The more attention they give this, the more traction it will gain.”
* * *
JAKE’S MIND WAS STILL whirling. Turgenev. Molloy. Gradsky. Nilsen. Cipher. Now he had more to add. Carter. Baker. And Baker’s supporters. The list was endless. And growing. The DNC. Abelson. Anya. Are they all my enemies? Is there anyone I can trust?
He’s ready to unravel it… are YOU?