Help A Bitch Out

HaBO-Thon: Suspense and Hackerating!

Abra is looking for a romantic suspense novel that is rather hackalicious:

I have a candidate for “Help a Bitch Out.” This is a book I read in 2002
that I think was technically a thriller, but with a strong romantic element.
Our hero is a young man who’s about college age, who spends all his spare
time hacking online. He’s good at evading the law enforcement officials who
troll the web trying to catch hackers, but there’s one particular official
who is especially hot on his trail. The guy also has a roommate who has
cerebral palsy. The roommate has a girlfriend, but the main character

Anyway, in the course of his hacking, the guy uncovers information about a
crime or something, that leads to the crime bosses coming after him.
There’s a wild chase through the city, with the guy on his skateboard. At
one point he hides in a garbage can. He’s so scared he pees his pants, and
is sure the criminals will catch him when they see the pee leaking out of
the garbage can, but he’s saved by his large sneakers, which catch the pee
so it doesn’t leak out.

In the course of the adventure, the guy finds a girlfriend. When they
finally catch the bad guys, the girl uses all the publicity to advertise the
rock band that she and the guy (and the roommate?) have started, on the
principle that “anything people hear 4 times will stick in their minds.”

Toward the end of the book, the guy goes online, and the law enforcement
official who’s on his trail sends him a message—chat room? instant
message? He notices that the official’s typing is weird—each word appears
all at once, and when he makes a typo, it’s with a word that sounds similar
rather than a word that’s spelled similarly. He realizes the official is
using voice recognition software to type, and that it’s his roommate, in
the other room of the apartment, who uses voice recognition software because
his cerebral palsy makes him unable to type.

At the end of the book, the guy swears off hacking, because the crime bosses
were too much trouble. He and his girlfriend are happy together, and he’s
grown closer with his roommate…it feels like a great happy ending with a
lot of character growth. Then, there’s a stupid epilogue titled, “In case
you want a sequel…” in which he and his girlfriend are on the rocks, and
he’s back to hacking.

Can anybody help me find this book? I’m very curious as to how well my
memories of it stand up to the real thing. The version I read had a tan
cover with mostly words on it—I don’t remember any cover picture.

Crime bosses are, like, SO annoying, it’s true. Anyone remember this book?


Help a Bitch Out

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    eskimo says:

    I have no idea, but I hope someone does because I want to read it, too!

  2. 2
    meara says:

    I recognize this one, a friend made me read it!

    The Ultimate Rush by Joe Quirk

  3. 3
    Lora says:

    Uh…so did the roommate not REALIZE mc was the hacker? Some great detective, that one. Also, I presume the roommate is the only person evah to use voice rec software so obvs the detective is him and not, say, some other person who doesn’t type?

    Love the bit with the pee. Seems realistic. I KNOW I would pee my pants if crime bosses were after me.

  4. 4

    I really like the chapter names on the TOC. But not enough to want to read it. (Not with my TBR pile threatening to fall over and crush me!)

  5. 5
    Barbara W. says:

    Ha, I was just going to say, it’s got to be The Ultimate Rush. 

    No serious book would have the hero pissing himself in a garbage can, lol.

  6. 6
    Barbara W. says:

    Well, THAT link didn’t work.  Cut and past, cut and paste.  :)

  7. 7
    Julie says:

    The first chapter is intriguing and the chapter headings are great. Not my type of character, though. And according to the blurb the girlfriend’s name is Ho. Seriously????

  8. 8
    Abra says:

    *The Ultimate Rush* looks like it!  Thanks, Meara and Barbara!

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